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Newest Divorce Study Indicates Divorces Are on the Decline


You’ve heard the statistic that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. That statistic was widely popularized in the 1970s just after the Cultural Revolution reshaped the American landscape forever. Today, the statistic is still widely believed. However, the most recent data indicates that a 50% divorce rate is no longer accurate. Both divorce and marriage have been on the decline since 2010, and since the pandemic, divorce rates have been dropping.

During COVID, it seemed like every other article in the newspaper was indicating that the divorce rate was going to skyrocket as spouses spent too much time with one another. That turned out to be mostly false. While divorce attorneys reported an uptick in calls relating to divorce (ourselves included), many couples decided to ride it out together, wait until after the pandemic was over, or, in most cases, never divorce at all.

According to the most recent data, the 50% divorce rate no longer describes the American marital landscape. Instead, somewhere between 35% to 39% of marriages end in divorce. And that number appears to be going down as we begin 2024.

According to the study, there were 944,000 divorces and annulments recorded in 2000 making the crude divorce rate 4.00 per 1,000 population that year. By 2021, the crude divorce rate had fallen to 2.5 per 1,000 with only 689,308 divorcing that year. However, interestingly, the marriage rate has also declined at the same time. It has dropped from 8.2 per population in 2000 to 6.00 per population in 2021.

What is causing the divorce rate to fall? 

While there’s no definitive answer to this question, one key factor appears to be that couples are waiting until later in life to marry. Those electing to get married do so at an older age. The average age of a man getting married has reached 30. For women, the age is 28. In 2003, the average age for a man marrying was 27 and 25 for women. Not only are marrying individuals older, but they are frequently better educated. This is particularly true of women who more frequently possess bachelor’s and graduate degrees than their predecessors in the early 2000s.

Another factor could be home economics. 2024 heralds unprecedented economic stress on families with the cost of living skyrocketing and wages remaining relatively stagnant. This could be forcing couples to hold off on divorce. The Guardian reported that more than 270,000 couples have been delayed from divorcing according to one estimate.

Traditionally, financial turmoil heralded divorce—it didn’t delay it. But today’s economic problems could be one of the root causes of couples staying together. For some couples, they cannot either sell or buy new homes because of the new marriage rates. Maintaining two households becomes nearly impossible. So, a lot of couples are just staying together.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Divorce Attorney Today 

Westchase Law, P.A. represents the interests of Tampa couples who are seeking a divorce. Our experienced Tampa family lawyers have years of practice helping couples untie the knot. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin going over your next steps right away.



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