Divorce Rates Are Down Over the Long Run

| May 19, 2011 | Divorce

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released a report on the trends in marriage and divorce in the United States. Perhaps surprisingly, the report finds that divorce rates have slowed from a peak that occurred around 1980. Since then, the rate of divorce has slowed, and the age at which people get married (or remarried) has risen.

One example from the report that illustrates the trend is that as of 2009, only 35% of women aged 40 to 49 had been divorced. In 1996, 40% of this age group had been divorced.

The Census Bureau’s report used decades of census data and a survey of 55,000 adults that was taken in 2009.

The report found that as of 2009, around half of the survey respondents had been married only once. There were 12% that had married twice, and only 3% that had been married three or more times.

The median age at which people are entering marriage is going up. A prime illustration of this from the report was that half the women aged 25 to 29 who were surveyed in 2009 had never been married. In 1996, only a quarter of the women in that age group had never been married.

Many marriages seem to be in danger in the early years, the report shows. Of all first marriages, 10% of them ended within five years.

First marriages are being entered later. In 1950, the median age for first marriages was 23 for men and 20 for women. By 2009, the median age was 28 for men and 26 for women. Second marriages in 2009 saw a median age of 36 for men and 33 for women.

Pittsburgh divorce lawyers noted the part of the report that found that both first and second marriages are lasting around eight years.

Another interesting fact: Half of the men and women who remarried after a first divorce found their new spouses within four years.

Source: New York Times “Study Finds Women Slower to Wed, and Divorce Easing” 5/18/2011


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