Americans now have less than a fifty percent chance for having a marriage that lasts more than 25 years, according to new U.S. Census data. The trends for a marriage surviving even fifteen years are also troubling. Still, it appears that the divorse rate has actually remained steady in recent years. Here is the New York Times report:
For the first time at least since World War II, women and men who married in the late 1970s had a less than even chance of still being married 25 years later.
“We know that somewhere between 40 percent and 50 percent of marriages dissolve,” said Barbara Risman, executive officer of the Council on Contemporary Families, a research group. “Now, when people marry, everyone wonders, is this one of those marriages that will be around for awhile.”
But David Blankenhorn, president of the Institute for American Values, a marriage research and advocacy group, said he was struck that the percentage of people who celebrated their 15th anniversary had declined. “This seems to be saying more recent marriages are more fragile,” Mr. Blankenhorn said.
About 80 percent of first marriages that took place in the late 1950s lasted at least 15 years. Among people who married in the late 1980s for the first time, however, only 61 percent of the men and 57 percent of the women were married 15 years later.
Among currently married women, non-Hispanic whites were the only group in which a majority had marked their 15th anniversary.
The survey by the Census Bureau, in 2004, confirmed that most Americans eventually marry, but they are marrying later and are slightly more likely to marry more than once.
Those trends continued, although the latest numbers suggest an uptick in the divorce rate among people married in the most recent 20 years covered in the report, 1975-1994. The proportion of all Americans who have been divorced, about one in five, remained constant, however.
“Basically, it looks like we’re pretty much holding steady,” said Rose Kreieder, a Census Bureau demographer. “There are not radical differences.”
Read it all here.