According to data recently released by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, America’s divorce rate has declined for the third consecutive year to reach the lowest point in almost 40 years. At the same time, marriage rates increased in 2015.
Last year the center reported 16.9 divorces per 1000 married women aged 15 years or older, down from 17.6 in 2014 and the high of 23 in 1980. At the same time, there were 32.2 marriages for every 1000 unmarried women aged 15 or older. This is the highest number of marriages since 2009.
Marriage and divorce rates are not necessarily correlated, and a number of theories exist as to why divorce rates are falling. One theory is that as co-habitation becomes more socially acceptable, marriage isn’t used as a mechanism to shore up an unstable relationship.
Marriage rates have been declining for some years as the average age at marriage has risen as people wait longer to marry. Nonetheless, researchers have found that the typical marriage has a 50% probability of lasting. Demographics also make a considerable difference, as the wealthy and more highly educated tend to marry and stay together at higher rates.
Across the nation, Washington DC reported the highest divorce rate with nearly 30 marriages per 1000 ending in divorce. Hawaii reported the lowest divorce rate. Unsurprisingly, conservative states like Utah and Alaska reported the highest marriage rates.
For more information, please read:
Divorce Rate in U.S. Drops to Nearly 40-Year Low | Time