Conventional wisdom has long held that half of all marriages end in divorce. Though it was true at one time, studies show that it is not accurate today. The divorce rate is now said to be around 39% here in the United States.
Though you may think this means that more people are staying together, that isn't quite how it is either. The divorce rate is falling partly because fewer people are getting married, and the ones who do make it down the aisle are more likely to stay together. Millennials, long criticized as lazy and entitled, are leading the charge. Researchers say that these new facts can provide valuable information for anyone here in Georgia, and around the nation, who is marrying or splitting up.
What do the statistics actually say?
The study that many are pointing to looked at young people in 2016 and compared them with young people in 2008. It found that the 2016 group was 18% less likely to get a divorce than the 2008 group. Further, the average age a person has their first marriage has gone up significantly. Currently for men, it's the age of 30, and for women, it's 28. Contrast that with figures from 2003 that put the average age of first marriage at 27 for men and 25 for women.
What does this mean?
The lowered divorce rate coupled with the increase in age for a first marriage shows that many people are waiting to marry. Experts say that young people are being more selective than people in the past when choosing to settle down. Marriage used to be considered a starting point for young people, and now, it's viewed more as an achievement.
How cohabitation fits into the picture
None of these new statistics mean that young people aren't having relationships. Researchers say that the rates of cohabitation are going up. In 2008, only 12% of people aged 25-34 lived with an unmarried partner, but now the figure stands at 15%. The rate of cohabitation has also gone up for people under age 25 from 5% in 1998 to 9% in 2018. Experts say that this is all because young people are prioritizing their careers before getting married. A divorce could jeopardize their level of financial security.
Researchers also say that those who cohabitate with the intention of eventually marrying have fairly successful marriages. They are also less likely to experience an unplanned pregnancy. However, there are some people who live together for convenience or loneliness and those relationships are less likely to last and have a higher chance of an unplanned pregnancy. That can have a significant impact on a person's life that may not be positive.
What's the takeaway?
The bottom line is that while there are some indicators regarding a person's likelihood of getting a divorce, it can happen to anyone for any reason. It is something that many people of all ages experience and is no cause for embarrassment or guilt. If you are considering getting a divorce, the important thing is that you seek the help of professionals and keep your bright future in your mind.