The Divorce Rate is Actually Lower Than People Think
There is a common myth in our culture that half of all marriages end in divorce. However, as recent graphics and articles make clear, that is not true and the figure is closer to one-third, though the rates vary among different groups.
Declining Divorce Rates
Divorce rates peaked in the 1970s and 1980s, and have gone down each decade since. The New York Times “Upshot” column reported that close to 70 percent of the marriages which began in the 1990s "reached their 15th anniversary (excluding those in which a spouse died), up from about 65 percent of those that began in the 1970s and 1980s." Moreover, couples who married in the 2000s are "so far divorcing at even lower rates.”
So even though conventional wisdom cites the divorce rate at 50 percent, the same article estimates that two-thirds of couples that get married today will never divorce.
Reasons for Declining Divorce Rates
There are several reasons that the divorce rate is declining. One reason is the fact that people are waiting longer to get married and age at first marriage is correlated with longer and more stable marriages. Further, fewer people are getting married and the people that are choosing not to marry are often the ones who were at high risk for divorce.
Economic factors have also had a big effect on divorce rates. In the past there was often a male breadwinner and a female partner who relied on him for economic security. Changing labor markets have made it so that unlike in the past, it is very difficult to come out of high school and have an economic foundation for a so-called “traditional” marriage structure. Now, couples have to wait longer before they are economically stable enough to marry—the longer one waits to marry, the more likely the marriage will last.
Another important reason for the decline in divorce rates is the availability and acceptance of birth control. Now that women and couples have more control over when and how many children they will have, they can make choices that benefit the couple and the marriage.
Finally, the rise of “love marriages” has also helped divorce rates decline. Many people now wait until they find the “right person” to marry, instead of finding someone relatively compatible and settling down. It may be the increased compatibility, or once again just delayed age, that contribute to the success of these marriages.
Groups with Higher Divorce Rates
Sill, not all groups are benefitting from these trends equally. People with lower educational attainment still have divorce rates similar to the past. Conversely, people with college degrees are less likely to divorce. Additionally, economic factors play a role as financial struggle can add to the stress of a marriage and lead to divorce.
DuPage County Divorce Attorneys
Divorce can be a very stressful time. If you are thinking about divorce it is important that you talk to a skilled divorce attorney to help you decide what works best for your situation. Our skilled DuPage County divorce lawyers at Davi Law Group, LLC can help you through this difficult time.