The decline in divorce seems promising


It may surprise you that the United States does not have the highest divorce rate in the world. The highest divorce rate, at 71% of marriages, is found in Belgium, according to the UN's Demographics and Social Statistics Division. It indicates that the United States ranks tenth highest in comparison to other countries. In fact, lower divorce rates are on a global decline, according to the Consensus Bureau (

Supporting these statistics, the New York Times points out that in the 1970s and 1980s, the high divorce rate was more of a historical phenomenon than a popular trend (Wong, 2014). In fact, the rate of divorce today is not even at 50 percent and has been in a steady decline for quite some time. Part of the current decline is the result of young people waiting to marry. It seems that marriage is more attractive in their mid-twenties to late twenties and even older. For example, young people fresh out of college feel that promoting their careers and placing high standards on their financial status takes precedence. Marriage and family planning come later as part of their mind-set and strategy for a successful future.

Sociologists and documented research have tried to dispel the common notion of a climbing 50 percent divorce rate. However, the popular view remains steadfast, as it seems to be fueled by media reporting. For instance, when news anchors and so-called expert commentators cite poverty and poor education as the culprit in high divorce rates, they contribute to the ongoing myth. Unfortunately, society tends to accept these common statements and opinions as truth. This further perpetuates support of inaccurate facts that become widely spread as false documentation.

In contrast, facts can replace myth if the public begins to learn and understand the real reasons why divorce rates have dropped. Besides later marriages, culture has played an important role in the changes that have taken place over the last few decades. Statistics illustrate that couples who married prior to the feminist movement were ideally suited for each other after the postwar culture (Miller, 2014). However, times changed rapidly over the next few decades and marriages began to collapse due to those cultural changes. Today's marriages are working better because people interact and marry according to the changes of a global society or the present times we live in. The foremost cause of a declining divorce rate — young people marrying later in life — seems to indicate that marriages are more stable with education and a better financial status. Entering the equation are the number of people living together before marriage and the social acceptance of one-parent households. The availability of birth control and the popularity of "love marriages" (those performed without the parents' approval) have also affected the decline.

All in all, if this trend continues, about two-thirds of marriages in the U.S. will never see a divorce.


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