Do half of all marriages end in divorce?

That’s the question many have been asking for the last several decades.

We’ve heard the stats over and over: Half of all marriages end in divorce, and the divorce rate is rising. Two statements that some argue are no longer accurate, according to a recent article in the New York Times.

The author of the article , Claire Cain Miller, argues: “It is no longer true that the divorce rate is rising, or that half of all marriages end in divorce. It has not been for some time.”

She goes on to argue that the divorce rate peaked in the 1970s and early 1980s and has steadily declined—two issues that seemingly go without much public notice. For years we’ve heard the troublesome state of marriage in the U.S. and while the exact figures weren’t always known, it was assumed they were still bad.

There are many reasons for the decline, including marrying later, birth control and what Miller refers to as “the rise of so-called love marriages.” But changing gender roles, economics and education also play a role.

The decline in the divorce rate, according to Miller, is concentrated among those who have attained college degrees, while those with less education are still experiencing divorce at similar rates to those of the peak years.

In the end, lower divorce rates have long-term benefits, as “the children of stable marriages grow up with both the immediate benefits and the role models for successful future relationships ….”


December 2, 2014

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