Thanks to Millennials – The Divorce Rate Has Dropped

Dear millennials, the U.S. divorce rate dropped 18 percent from 2008 to 2016 thanks to you. Keep it up! Is getting married later the better option for securing a marriage?

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Have Millennials found the key to sustaining a lifelong marriage? Divorce lawyers may not be so happy about this one.

Millennials, it’s time to celebrate because the U.S. divorce rate has dropped 18 percent from 2008 to 2016, according to an analysis by University of Maryland sociology professor Phillip Cohen.

The new data published by Bloomberg shows younger couples are approaching relationships differently than previous generations have. Millennials in particular, are proving that there is no need to rush in terms of getting married. Many are becoming more picky about when and whom they say “I do” to. The survey shows that tying the knot at older ages, when education, careers and finances are on track, is proving to be a key to long lasting marriage, and the decrease in divorce rate.

Demographers have long known that the divorce rate was falling, but many have been trying to figure out why and what the trends mean. One theory pointed at the aging populating for the falling divorce rates, since older people are less likely to get divorced. However, Cohen’s analyses of U.S. Census Bureau survey data, suggest something more basic explains it all. Cohen found that even when he monitored factors such as age, the divorce rate over the same period still dropped eight percent.

While the marriage rate has also fallen over the last several decades, according to Phillip Cohen analysis of American Community Survey data, he calculated the divorce rate as a ratio for divorces to the total number of married women. Therefore, proving the decline in divorce rates isn’t a reflection of the decline in marriages, but that today’s marriages have a greater overall chance of lasting, compared to ten years ago.

“The change among young people is particularly striking,” Susan Brown, a sociology professor at Bowling Green State University, said of Cohen’s results. “The characteristics of young married couples today signal a sustained decline [in divorce rates] in the coming years.”

Baby boomers have continued to divorce at unusually high rates, all the way into their 60s and 70s, even doubling the rate of people aged 55 to 64 from 1990 to 2015, according to Bowling Green’s National Center for Family and Marriage Research. The divorce rate showed to have tripled for Americans 65 and older, according to the same survey. The trend is known as “grey divorce,” “Silver Splitter, or “Diamond Divorcees,” and boomers continue to divorce at much high rates than previous generation did as similar ages.

Cohen’s result seems to suggest that today’s couples don’t seem to be following in the same path. “One of the reasons for the decline is that the married population is getting older and more highly educated,” Cohen said. “Fewer people are getting married, and those who do are the sort of people who are least likely to get divorced. Marriage is more and more an achievement of status, rather than something that people do regardless of how they’re doing,” he said.

Americans with less finances and less education are opting not to get married at all, according to Bloomberg. Despite the increase in couples choosing to not get married but live together, and often raise kids together, studies have shown that these cohabiting relationships, are proving to be less stable than they used to be.

Fewer divorces sound like bad news for matrimonial lawyers, but the decline is making marriage become more durable and a far more exclusive institution. Way to go on this, millennials. Read the full story on Bloomberg here.

Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

Dear millennials, the U.S. divorce rate dropped 18 percent from 2008 to 2016 thanks to you. Keep it up! Is getting married later the better option for securing a marriage?

63% Y – More mature
37% N – Depends on people
65% Y – More mature
35% N – Depends on people
58% Y – More mature
42% N – Depends on people

Y – More mature

N – Depends on people

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