The divorce rate in the United States has fallen for the third consecutive year according to data released in November of 2016. This decrease has resulted in the lowest rate in more than 35 years. While divorces fell in 2015, the number of marriages increased slightly from 31.9 in 2014 to 32.3 marriages for every 1,000 unmarried women age 15 or older. It was the highest rate since 2009.
This year’s data demonstrates that divorce has been dropping significantly since 1980 when it was almost 23 for every 1,000 unmarried women age 15 or older. The 2015 rate of 16.9 was down from 17.6 in 2014.
Washington, D.C. and Wyoming had divorce rates last year of 29.9 and 27.9, the highest in the country, followed by Nevada, Arkansas, and Alaska. The lowest divorce rates were in Hawaii, at 11.1, followed by Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Delaware, and New Jersey. The northeastern U.S. has the lowest marriage rates, and Utah, not surprisingly, the highest. At 61.3, Utah’s marriage rate is nearly three times that of Rhode Island, which is 21.4. Because Utah has such a high rate of marriage, it understandably has a high rate of divorce at 18.
Many experts believe the reasons for the decline include changing gender roles, the aging of Baby Boomers, and the fact that there are fewer marriages to dissolve than in past years. Baby Boomers typically married at a young age, and have continued marrying and divorcing as they get older. One reason that the rate of marriage in the U.S. has fallen is that younger generations have postponed marriage, often to build careers and establish some economic foundation prior to making any commitments to another person.
Of course, in 2016 many couples live together without marrying, which fifty years ago was considered taboo and not widely accepted. The number of unmarried Americans over 50 living together almost tripled from 2000 to 2014, to 3.2 million.
It is important to remember that every marriage is different and any data indicating a downward trend in the divorce rate has no effect whatsoever on the likelihood that a marriage will succeed or fail. Many sociologists believe the marriage still has about a 50% chance to succeed, the same chance it had more than a few years ago.
There are but a few experiences that are more emotionally draining than the dissolution of a marriage. The Men’s Divorce Law Firm can guide you through the confusion and pursue a path that is the most beneficial for you in a divorce. Call 321-DIVORCE today to schedule a consultation and follow our Twitter page for more insights about divorce and family law.