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Marriage, divorce trends questioned nationwide

Are divorce rates in the U.S. on the decline or are researchers simply not using the right data? This article explores this issue further.

A recent New York Times article details the constantly falling divorce rate in the United States, a fact that University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers says is “not news.”

But the fact that the divorce situation in the U.S. is apparently improving may surprise many people, who are used to a lot of negativity in the media when it comes to marriage and divorce. In fact, couples who have married since 2000 have seen their relationships experience greater levels of success compared to those who got married in the years and decades before that.

It’s also important to note, however, that rates of marriage overall appear to be on the decline. According to NBC News, more people throughout the country are choosing to marry later in life, which tends to mean that they’ve given their relationships more time to develop before marriage – leading to greater long-term success.

These numbers have been mirrored in Great Britain, where overall divorce rates have fallen to their lowest levels in 40 years. However, as The Telegraph reports, the rates of divorce among people 25-29 years old has increased during that time, jumping to two times the average across all age groups.

Relationship experts in England say this trend is the result of greater degrees of autonomy among young people today compared to years past, and the fact that they report seeing life-long marriage as less important.

More divorce among older people

On the other hand, there have been recent challenges to the widely held belief among experts that the U.S. divorce rate has been declining overall since the late 1970s. In early 2014, researchers from the University of Minnesota found that rates of divorce have actually been increasing over the past three decades, as they have questioned the validly of previously used data. Instead, the researchers were able to leverage results from a U.S. Census survey first implemented in 2008, which they believe provides a much better picture of the divorce situation nationwide.

In fact, examining the data, the University of Minnesota researchers found that divorce rates are not falling as quickly for couples over the age of 35, and that couples over 60 are breaking up at higher rates than in decades past. So although it’s not exactly clear if overall divorce rates are on the rise, it is apparent that couples who have been together many years are no less vulnerable to divorce than younger people with less marriage experience.

Regardless of your age or the length of your marriage, going through a divorce can be a challenging process that involves a great deal of stress from both an emotional and financial perspective. If you have decided to seek a divorce in Oregon, speak with a skilled Portland family law attorney to learn more about your options and best steps moving forward.

Keywords: divorce, marriage, gray divorce