There’s a common statistic tossed around when people talk about the divorce rate: “50% of U.S. marriages end in divorce.” But it’s apparently not true.
Divorce Rate Not 50%
A recent piece published by the New York Times’ blog Upshot reports that the divorce rate is not only not at 50%, but it’s not rising either. It’s actually been dropping for the past years, making what was a high divorce rate in the late 1970s and early 1980s perhaps just a “historical anomaly,” and not an actual trend.
Some New Stats
Here are a few more facts the piece uncovers:
- Roughly 70% of marriages that married in the 1990s reached their 15th wedding anniversary – this is an increase from the 65% of marriages began in the 1970s and 1980s.
- Couples who wed in the 2000s are getting divorced at even lower rates than those marriages that began in the 1990s.
- According to economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfer, the 1970s feminist movement had a big impact on where the divorce rate stands now. As women entered the work force and birth control was made more available, marriage began to turn into its “modern-day form, based on love and shared passions, and often two incomes and shared housekeeping duties.”
- People are marrying later in life – they often seek having full careers before “settling down.” Median age for marriage in the 1950s was 23 for men, 20 for women. In 2004, the median age for marriage was 27 for men, 26 for women. Getting married later in life allows people to really know what they want or don’t want out of a mate, thus making marriages more stable once entered into.
Seeking a Divorce
While the divorce rate may be lower than you thought, people still find themselves unhappy in their marriages. The spike seen in the 1970s and 1980s might have also been the result of divorce becoming more socially acceptable. Prior to that, people feared being judged, and thus stayed in unhappy marriages. Luckily, that isn’t the case anymore, and unhappy couples are free to divorce and start new lives. If you’re seeking a divorce, you might want to consider working with a divorce attorney that can help you through what can be a difficult process.
Source: The Huffington Post, The Truth About The Divorce Rate Is Surprisingly Optimistic, December 2, 2014
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