One of the most commonly quoted statistics about marriage is that half of all marriages end in divorce. For the past several decades, the divorce rate has hovered around that rate, but it's become more popular recently to challenge this statistic.
Do you ever wonder why there is so much curiosity about the divorce rate? Admittedly, my perspective is a bit skewed since divorce runs in my family. But from my view, one of the main reasons why people tend to be so interested in the divorce rate is because they fear divorce and question the stability of marriage. After all, we've all grown up in a culture of divorce, since it reached a peak in 1970. We all know someone who has seen their parents' marriage crumble, and many have experienced more than one divorce in their lifetime.
Unsurprisingly, young adults raised in divorced families are worried about their own futures. According to author and marriage expert Paul Amato, the divorce rates for adult children of divorce are twice those raised in intact families. If two children of divorce marry, their risk of divorce is three times that of those raised in an intact family. However, even though it's hard to get out of the shadow of divorce, there is some good news about divorce proneness.
Many researchers have asserted in recent years that the divorce rate is leveling off and even dropping. One common reason cited is that fewer people are getting married in the first place. The second reason is that college-educated individuals, who marry when they are older and have decent incomes, enjoy much lower divorce rates than the general public. Researchers believe that the age at which many Americans marry for the first time has been rising for decades, and getting married later reduces an individual's risk of divorce.
Let's tackle the first issue: According to CDC reports, which are derived from census numbers, it appears as if divorce rates are decreasing. But so, too, are marriage rates, and it's been front-page news for a while. A private research company called Demographic Intelligence studied the state of marriage in the U.S. and recently predicted that the marriage rate will remain the same at 6.8 marriages per 1,000 people in 2013, where it's been since 2009 (compared to 7.3 in 2007). Keep reading...
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