Divorce Rates Are Down, But There’s a Catch

In my Twitter feed, Brad Wilcox is pointing out that the divorce rate in the US is way down from its peak in the early 80s. And he’s right: the annual divorce rate is down by about a third since 1981. That sounds like great news, but you need to put it in context. You see, the marriage rate has also been falling:

If marriage rates are down, you’d naturally expect fewer divorces. So let’s take a look at the divorce rate as a percentage of the marriage rate:

Divorce as a percentage of marriage has fallen a bit in recent years, but the bigger picture shows that it’s been roughly flat since 1975. There’s something to see here, but not quite as much as it appears at first glance.

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