Divorce Rates, What They Are, How Have They Changed and Why

The Urban Legend of the 50% Divorce Rate

Merely about everyone has read the often repeated assertion that 50% of all marriages conclude in divorce. This “fact” gets exceeded from a single media “source” to another without other people ever checking its original source. So we made a decision to check with the last authority on all things demographic: The Unite Says Census Bureau. Queensland has highest divorce rate in Australia

Typical of statements often repeated in the media, the 50 percent number is an oversimplification that does not get started to see the important history about divorce rates. Generally there are much more interesting figures that tell all of us how a divorce rate has changed above the decades and suggest the reason why for their changes. But first, to comprehend the issues around divorce rates we need to answer this question:

Simply What is a Divorce Rate?

How much does it imply to say that some percent of marriages “end up” in divorce?

Persons stay married for a lot of years. Some get divorced at one year, five years, fifteen years or even sixty years after the marriage. And some pass away married. Consequently, we only know the rate at which marriages conclude in divorce for folks who wedded far back enough before for all of them to have already passed away.

But we can also start with a more recent cohort of men and women who married on a single year and estimate the divorce rate of the rest of the marriages on the last available season of their data. The more recent the cohort of marriages, the much longer and less reliable is the estimated period.

Or perhaps we can state divorce rates as of a given wedding anniversary, such as “35% by the 25th anniversary”. This allows us to compare divorce rates between people who married on different years by the same standard.

The divorce rate only, without:

stating the season of the marriages,
being approved it by the everlasting nature when the divorce rate was calculated and
referencing whether it is an actual or estimated rate
is a meaningless quantity

Is the Divorce Level Rising or Falling?

That would be foolish to expect that divorce rates have been at the same 50% for many decades. Few things having to do with individuals behavior stays the same for very long. Thus we have to do our best to understand whether the divorce rate has recently been rising or falling during the last few years.

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