05 Jul 2016

Boomers Are Making Sure the Divorces Keep Coming

The statistic that half of all marriages fail, long whispered by wedding guests and worried over by reluctant brides and grooms, has garnered some new support. If current behavior continues, 52.7 percent of marriages will end in tears, University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen concludes, based on recent survey data.

That estimate might surprise some, especially if you look at recent trends. The media have regularly sought to debunk the notion of a 50-percent divorce rate, and the new conventional wisdom has been that Americans get divorced less often than in the past. After all, the official number of divorces according to the U.S. government has dropped, both since its peak in the 1980s and more recently.

It’s true that the average marriage is lasting longer and that young people especially are divorcing less. At the same time, people are also far more cautious about tying the knot in the first place, pushing the average age of first-time spouses ever higher, and those who do get divorced are remarrying less often. “Marriage is so much more selective today,” says Bowling Green State University sociologist Susan Brown. From the 1940s until the 1970s, the typical women was barely 20 on her wedding day. Now she’s over 27.

So if modern brides and grooms are pickier, and thus getting married later in life, and if overall divorce rates are down, why do Cohen and other sociologists conclude that half of all marriages end in divorce?

Blame the baby boomers. They started divorcing at record rates in the 1970s and never stopped. While divorce fell somewhat among younger Americans over the past 25 years, it has soared among older adults. From 1990 to 2012, the divorce rate for 55 to 64-year-olds more than doubled, according to the Bowling Green’s National Center for Family & Marriage Research. The rate for people 65 and older tripled.

Read more about it here: http://bloom.bg/29ibaJS

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