It’s a common misconception that 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. But that hasn’t been the divorce rate for a number of years.
Divorce Rate Statistics are “Complicated”
According to Christine Whelan, director at MORE: Money, Relationships and Equality, “The divorce statistics are very complicated.”
The New York Times took a look at the data numbers reported by Justin Wolfers, a University of Michigan economist, and concluded: “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.”
Changing Our Mindset Around Divorce…and Marriage
So, it’s no longer to claim that marriages end in divorce. And as a result, we need to perhaps take a closer look at how we view and think about marriage. For one, marriage used to be something that everyone did, regardless of class. Cohabiting prior to marriage is something people do a lot more nowadays, and often people choose to just do that for longer, rather than just tying the knot. There’s not as much “financial incentive” for woman to marry in our current times, now that woman are “bringing in the bacon” for themselves.
According to Whelan, there are many factors that have created lower divorce rates, including: people marrying later in life, the prevalence of birth control, and just a ” diverging trend in marriage,” she says. When people marry later on in life, there’s more opportunity for them to pursue higher education and become financially stable. “It turns into the marriage ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’,” says Whelan. “On the one hand we have educated people who are marrying at [high rates].” Additionally, “If you are less educated and affluent you are more likely to cohabitate,” says Whelan. When cohabiting couples break up the numbers don’t get applied to divorce rates.
A New Look at Divorce
Though it’s more common and more acceptable for people to divorce, Whelan says it’s important to remember that does not mean that marriages of the past were “successful.” “We say how low the divorce rates were back in the good old days. That does not mean that everyone was happily married and living together. They just didn’t file for divorce,” she says.
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Source: TODAY.com, Divorce rates are lower, but so are the number of people getting married, December 3, 2014