CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Divorce Rate in US Drops to Lowest Level in Almost 40 Years

Marriage wedding
(Photo : Evan Forester / Flickr / CC)

The divorce rate in America has fallen to its lowest levels in about 40 years, and at the same time a slight increase in marriage rates have been noted over the last five years.

The US divorce rate has dropped for the third consecutive year, according to data released by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University.

The statistics show that in 1970, there were 14.9 divorces per 1,000 married women aged 15 years or older. The divorce rate was shown to have risen markedly each year from then on and peaked to about 23 divorces in 1980.

In 2015, the rate was 16.9 per 1,000 married women, which is lower than what was observed in the middle of 1970s when it was rising sharply. The divorce rate continued to decline for the last 3 years, and was lower than 17.6 in 2014.

Marriage rates have risen slightly over the past few years after declining rapidly since 1970s. In 2014, rate was 31.9 which rose to 32.3 in 2015.

Washington D.C. (29.9) had the highest divorce rate in the country, followed by Wyoming (27.9). Hawaii (11.1) had the lowest divorce rate in the country. Other states with low divorce rates included Wisconsin, Rhode Island, and Delaware.

Utah had the highest rate of marriage at 61.3, while Rhode Island registered the lowest rate of marriages at 21.4. Interestingly, the marriage rate in Utah was three times as high as in Rhode Island, and its divorce rate was 18 which is higher than 60 percent of the states.

Rhode Island had the lowest marriage rate and it was among the states with low divorce rates at the same time, indicating that less number of marriages may be linked with lower instance of divorces.

Alaska, which has the second-highest rate of marriage in the country also had fifth-highest divorce rate.

Overall, the states which had highest marriage rates were among the top scorers in divorce rates.

However, Hawaii which witnessed the highest increase in marriage rate between 2014 and 2015 had lowest divorce rate as well.

Statistically, only about 45 percent of the states in the US witnessed an increase in marriage rate from last year, and were seen to have an unpredictable increase and decrease in marriage and divorce rates over the course of several years.

In 2014, New Hampshire had the 14th highest marriage rate at 37.1, but experienced the sharpest decline of -22.9 the next year.

Thirty states had lower divorce rates in 2015 than in 2014. Among them, Rhode Island witnessed the highest decline in divorce rate (-34) from last year.

Experts could not pin down the exact reason for the drop in divorce rates, but long-term trends suggest that baby boomers seem to have had married young and ended their marriages, and then marry and divorce multiple times while millennials were more likely to marry late.

"We've seen a decline of divorce among people who are younger and an increase among people who are older," Wendy Manning, co-director of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, told Bloomberg.

The age of marriage has also increased over the past several years, which has become a norm among the millennials.

Tags National Center for Family and Marriage Research, Bowling Green State University, Marriage and divorce

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