How to repair a marriage
Divorce rates, what are they, how have they changed and why?
The Urban Legend of the 50% Divorce Rate
How to repair a marriage Most of us have heard the often repeated statement that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. This “fact” passes from one medium “source” to another without anyone verifying its original origin. So we decided to check with the final authority on all demographics: The Unite States Census Bureau.
Typical of statements often repeated in the media, the 50% number is an oversimplification that does not begin to tell the important story about divorce rates. There are much more interesting figures that tell us how the divorce rate has changed over the decades and suggest the reasons for their changes. But first, to understand the issues around divorce rates, we need to answer this question:
What is the Divorce Rate?
What does it mean that some percent of weddings “end” in divorce?
People get married for many decades. Some divorced in one year, five years, fifteen years or even sixty years after marriage. And some die married. Therefore, we only know the rate at which marriages end in divorce for people who were married much earlier in the past so that all of them have already died.
But we can also start with a more recent cohort of people who were married the same year and estimate the divorce rate of the remaining weddings in the last available year of their data. The more recent the wedding cohort, the longer and less reliable the estimated period.
Or we can declare divorce rates after a certain wedding anniversary, such as “35% to 25 anniversary.” This allows us to compare the divorce rates between people who were married in different years by the same employer.
Only one divorce rate, without:
, affirming the year of the wedding,
qualifying him for the birthday when the divorce rate was calculated and
mentioning if it is a real or estimated rate
It is a meaningless number
Is the divorce rate increasing or falling?
It would be absurd to expect divorce rates to have been equal in 50% for many decades. Few things that have to do with human behavior are the same for a long time. So, we need to do everything possible to understand if the divorce rate has been increasing or falling during the last decades.
The following article published by the Census Bureau shows some light on the direction of divorce rates:
Rose M. Kreider and Renee Ellis, “Number, time and duration of marriages and divorces: 2009, Domestic Economic Studies, May 2011”, Current Population Reports.
How to repair a marriage The data for this article from the Census Bureau were based on a survey of more than 39 thousand families delivered in 2009 to 55,597 adults who were married at some time in their lives. The following summarizes some important facts of this article:
On the 35th anniversary, the wedding survival rate fell from 62.10% for the cohort of married men between 1960 and 64, to 57.90% for the 1965-1969 cohort. On the 25th anniversary, these survival rates fell from 66.90% for the 1960-64 cohort to just 54.40% for the 1975 to 1979 cohort. There was also a drop in survival rates for the 10th anniversary of 10 percentage points between the same two cohorts (equivalent to an increase of 10 percentage points in divorce rates).
How to repair a marriage
After 1974, marriage survival rates are very close to each other so that changes from cohort to cohort are significant. But for men, the ten-year survival rate increased gradually from the 73.40% decline for the 1975-79 cohort to 77.30% for the 1990-94 cohort.
In general, what we know from this study is that men’s marriage survival rates, from 10 to 25 birthdays, fell by about 12 percentage points between the 1960-64 and 1975-79 cohorts. Next, its ten-year survival rate increased by about four percentage points between the 1975-79 and 1990-94 cohorts.
Survival rates for women’s wedding are generally lower and are not as far between cohorts. But they tell the same story about when they fell and when they later partially recovered.
If you think about it, something seems wrong with the data when the survival rates of the wedding between men and women are different. As far as we know, there were no same-sex marriages, polygamy or polyandry in the United States before 2009, so all marriages were from one man to one woman. When they divorce, both marriage partners count as divorced in the same year. Therefore, if a study were accompanied throughout their lives a