Is the divorce rate REALLY 50%?
American media has long been interested in divorce rates among our population. Common, yet incorrect, knowledge is that 50% of marriages end in divorce.
There are two common data sets used to determine divorce rates. The American Census and the American Community Survey. The Census is taken every ten years and thus provides large scale data infrequently while the American Community Survey, performed by the same government entity, is done on smaller scale every year.
There are a few key points to understanding divorce rates
- If an individual has divorce once they are more likely to have a second marriage end in divorce. The more times one has been married the more likely they are to experience a divorce ending future marriages. This reality can skew data given the potential for one individual to be married and divorced 3 or 4 times during their lives.
- Both men and women between 21 and 40 are getting married later in life than ever in history. Divorce rates may ultimately remain the same for this generation but the divorces may have simply not happened yet because their marriages are still relatively new.
- Older generations are living longer, increasing the likelihood a marriage will end in divorce rather than widowhood. Wellspring Divorce Advisors refers to these late life divorces as Gray Divorce.
Add to these complications the differences in demographic subsets and it makes the actual divorce rate hard to determine. So where can we turn?
Wellspring Divorce Advisors recently came upon an interactive info-graphic at FlowingData showing Divorce Rates for Different Groups. While no final determination is made by the data the interactive chart, based on American Community Survey and other data provides a pretty interesting overview of divorce rates based upon race, education, age and employment status. Check it out in the links above.
Wellspring Divorce Advisors helps individuals and couples address the financial aspects of divorce in a civilized, equitable, and efficient manner by providing expert divorce financial planning and advice. Contact us to find out how we can help you through this process.