U.S. Divorce Statistics

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Divorce statistics can be staggering. The current divorce rate in the United States has been reported at hovering around fifty percent for the past few decades. With a little investigating into the data fueling these numbers, some interesting insights emerge.

An article published on cnbc.com in May of 2012, David Milstead reports that a survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau that divided men into categories of  “never married”, “ever married”, “ever widowed”, or “ever divorced” showed a decrease in divorce rates. Between 1996 and 2009 divorce rates fell for men aged 40 to 49, from 34.1 percent to 28.5 percent. The article cites a variety of causes for the change in divorce statistics —education, the increase of women in the workforce, and marriages happening later in life.

A 2005 article in the New York Times debunked the frequently cited fifty percent divorce rate by reporting:

“The figure is based on a simple – and flawed – calculation: the annual marriage rate per 1,000 people compared with the annual divorce rate. In 2003, for example, the most recent year for which data is available, there were 7.5 marriages per 1,000 people and 3.8 divorces, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

But researchers say that this is misleading because the people who are divorcing in any given year are not the same as those who are marrying, and that the statistic is virtually useless in understanding divorce rates. In fact, they say, studies find that the divorce rate in the United States has never reached one in every two marriages, and new research suggests that, with rates now declining, it probably never will.”

Regardless of the divorce rate, dissolving a marriage is never an easy endeavor. If you have questions about divorce or family law, Goldberg Jones is here to help. Our managing attorney, Colin Amos, is available to answer your questions over the phone at no charge and with no obligation.

Infographic of Divorce Statistics

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