According to an article in the Time Magazine, there is some truth to the saying that “50% of all marriages end in divorce.” However, this figure is not entirely truthful. First of all, it’s not easy to figure out divorce rates. Marital data is not collected in all states, and there are a lot of numerical differences between studies. The author of a marriage guide book and a New York Times reporter, Tara Parker-Pope, also casts doubt on the popular claim. She claims that marital stability appears to be improving every decade. For instance, in the 1970’s, 23% of college graduates who got married divorced within 10 years. Twenty years later, the rate dropped by 7 percentage points.
Another source suggests that divorce rates are age-dependent. In the 80’s, 81% of college graduates who were 26 or older and got married in that decade had not divorced after 20 years of marriage. 35% of college graduates who were younger than 26 at the time of their marriage divorced within 20 years.
While these findings propose that over half of marriages do not end in divorce, it was only true when the couple was highly educated. 49% of those who were less-educated and married at a young age got divorced after 20 years of marriage. Furthermore, nowadays, these couples are possibly divorcing in higher numbers than college graduates. In a new report on interpreting divorce data, Penn State sociologist Paul Amato writes that the 50% divorce rate seems to be accurate.
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