New Research Says Divorce Rate Is Actually Declining

We’ve all heard the statistic that 50% of marriages end in divorce. We’ve been told that the divorce rate is on the rise. But according to a new article on the New York Times’ Upshot blog, the divorce rate in the United States is actually declining. In fact, American marriages are stronger today than they have been in years.

Photo via BigStock

Here’s what the article had to say:

“About 70 percent of marriages that 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. Those who married in the 2000s are so far divorcing at even lower rates. If current trends continue, nearly two-thirds of marriages will never involve a divorce, according to data from Justin Wolfers, a University of Michigan economist.”

Chart via New York Times

Among the reasons cited for this decline in the divorce rate? The fact that people are marrying later in life (which means their relationship is often more stable), people are using birth control, and more people are marrying for reasons of love (instead of for financial security). Another somewhat surprising find is that our progressive, permissive lifestyles may be playing a part in building stronger marriages:

“The fact that most people live together before marrying means that more ill-fated relationships end in breakups instead of divorce. And the growing acceptance of single-parent families has reduced the number of shotgun marriages, which were never the most stable of unions.”

Sadly, the article doesn’t report all good news for the institution of marriage. Class clearly plays a pivotal role in this data, as the author of the article notes that “the decline in divorce is concentrated among people with college degrees. For the less educated, divorce rates are closer to those of the peak divorce years.”

Hopefully those statistics will continue to balance out, but in the meantime, we’re happy to hear that marriages in general are stronger than ever. It means good things are on the horizon for all of us; as more kids grow up in stable, loving households, they’ll develop optimism for happy marriages and learn how to successfully build solid relationships of their own. Let’s hear it for love!

Celebrate this positive trend in marraiges by looking to the future with some anniversary ideas on!

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