Should We Be Happy That More Marriages Are Ending In Divorce?

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divorce, wedding cake
It turns out there's an unexpected silver lining to a higher rate of divorce.

The honeymoon phase is officially over—for our optimistic views of marriage, that is. For the third consecutive year, statistics have dictated a substantial increase in the U.S. divorce rate; according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of documented divorces in 2012 skyrocketed to approximately 2.4 million.

This shocking revelation is compounded by more bad news: According to findings from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, the marriage rate has also decreased by almost sixty percent!

And yet, in spite of these stunning statistics, a major silver lining is becoming apparent. 

The U.S. Census Bureau has found a correlation between the rise of divorce rates and the sudden boost in economy — particularly with regard to housing. Getting a divorce creates the immediate need for separate housing arrangements, which in turn generates finances that benefit the overall economy. But does this translate to the individual? Not likely—and certainly not immediately. 

In his book entitled Women, Work, and Divorce, author Richard R. Peterso stated that "divorced and never-married women are more likely to work and to work more hours per year, and are less likely to withdraw from the labor force, than married women." While going the single route may be a sound emotional decision for an individual, it may not be the most lucrative financial one.

According to LearnVest, singles pay more to live on their own—roughly $67K more over 60 years, in fact. And a recent story in The Atlantic indicated that women who never get married can expect to "pay as much as a million dollars more than their married counterparts for healthcare, taxes, and more." That's a sobering suggestion to say the least. 

But if a bad economy has been known to increase divorce rates, could a healthy economy be the first step in reversing this trend? Only time will prove this cyclical theory right or wrong. In the meantime, the home improvement industry will undoubtedly enjoy a prolonged honeymoon period.

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