This is the second article in an occasional series on the marriage revolution. Because facts and evidence are essential for making gospel-centered arguments about the cluster of controversial topics related to marriage, the first few posts attempt to clarify some of the important numbers related to marriage. Because of this connection, the beginning of the marriage revolution can also be dated to the era of the s. But when did the decline of marriage begin?
Divorce Rates and Statistics U. Divorce By The Statistics: It Doesn't Add Up Someone once said that people who use statistics to make arguments use numbers the way a drunk uses a streetlight: Every day, divorce statistics punctuate the pronouncements of social commentators who use them, not to throw light on the subject, but to convince readers of their political point of view.
Commentators write with an agenda, and they wittingly or unwittingly mislead casual readers. Dogood quotes a newspaper headline "50 Percent of Marriages Fail" in his Sunday sermon, his parishioners leave church feeling that the Western world is on its way to hell in a hand basket. That means, one in two marriages will head for the rocks someday, think Sam and Sally who hope for the best for themselves, of course.
The truth is that Sam and Sally and Rev. Dogood and all of America negotiate life in a blizzard of numbers and statistics that make critical thinking very difficult.
The tsunami of raw data and undigested information that inundates everyone makes it difficult to form a reasoned response to a basic question, what does this really mean?
For sure, percentages " 50 percent of marriages fail " suggest a precision and objectivity, but it is not that simple. Divorce statistics, like all statistics, are quantified abstractions that are difficult to interpret correctly unless they can be put into context from which they are abstracted.
And what seems like good news can be very misleading unless it is put in the context of life experience. For example, not long ago the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia announced optimistically that a slight drop in the per 1, divorce rate of married women signaled evidence that "the challenges of job losses, foreclosures and depleted retirement accounts may be driving some couples to stick together.
Overall, the divorce rate shot up after World War II, then declined, only to rise again in the s and s, and then leveled off during the s, but in trying to give meaning to these statistics great care must be taken.
According to the National Marriage Project, the "overall divorce rate" peaked at Yet it should be remembered the sheer size of the much studied Baby Boom - 75 million Americans born between and - is enough to influence the aggregate marriage and divorce statistics.
Half of All Marriages End in Divorce? True or False The 50 percent statistic is very misleading, if not completely wrong. Hughes says that for every two marriages that occurred in the s there was one divorce.
No one is really certain about how the 50 percent number imbedded itself so deeply in popular imagination. Hence, 50 percent of married couples divorce," says Scott M. Stanley of the University of Denver.
That is a misunderstanding that began early in the debate about what the divorce rate reality - a misunderstanding that is, unfortunately, widely perpetuated," Stanley says. Part of the difficulty with divorce statistics is that the rates measure divorces in different ways.
Divorce rates become clearer when the calculation and compilation of the statistics is understood. Federal funding for the collection and publication of detailed marriage and divorce statistics was suspended inand as a result an annual count of divorces in the United States is not complete.
Not all states report divorces, but despite this limitation the U. S Census Bureau calculates what is known as a crude divorce rate - the number of divorces per 1, people in the population. This calculation leaves much to be desired because it includes children and single adults who are not at risk of divorce.
With these limitations in mind, the crude rate rose from 2. The refined divorce rate - the number of divorces per 1, married woman - includes only those people at risk of divorce, so social scientists and demographers see it as preferable to the crude rate.
Using this routine, the divorce rate ranged from a low of Using this regime, indivorce fell from a rate of 17 divorces per 1, married women in to Another number that sometimes comes into social commentaries is what is termed the cohort approach, which is the divorce rate among "people who married in a given year or set of adjacent years.The United States has the highest divorce has the highest divorce rate in the world.
True Since , the absolute number of marriages in the United States had increased. 1 Excludes data for Georgia..
2 Excludes data for Louisiana.. Note: Rates for have been revised and are based on intercensal population estimates from the and censuses.
Populations for rates are based on the census. The divorce rate peaked in the s and early s and has been declining for the three decades since. About 70 percent of marriages that began in the s reached their 15th anniversary (excluding those in which a spouse died), up from about 65 percent of those that began in the s and s.
But the bottom line is this: the decline of marriage is a problem because it is one of the primary reasons that the richer and poorer classes in our country are increasingly separate and unequal.
This article is reprinted from the . Yep, researchers have found that the rate of divorce in the U.S.
actually peaked at about 40% around and has been declining ever since. And, according to data from the National Survey of.
Yes, Matt Yglesias, The Marriage Decline Is A Problem The decline of marriage is one of the primary reasons that the richer and poorer classes in our country are increasingly separate and unequal.