last updated 31 Dec 2006
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The media frequently reports that 50% of American marriages will end in divorce. This number appears to have been derived from very skimpy data related to a single county or state. However, it appears to be reasonably close to the probable value. The Americans for Divorce Reform estimates that "Probably, 40 or possibly even 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue. However, that is only a projection and a prediction."
Source: "Divorce statistics collection: Summary of findings so far," Americans for Divorce Reform, at: www.divorcereform.org/results.html
You will also see divorce rates in the 20-30% range. I think these are census bureau data which counts all people over 15 yrs. old who have ever been divorced. The 50% number counts only people who have been married and multiple counts people who have been divorced several times.
See: Change in the Reporting of Marriage and Divorce Statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at www.cdc.gov/nchs
Source: Table 83 on p. 4 of pdf of Section 2 of 2003 Statistical Abstract of the U.S., at www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/03statab/vitstat.pdf
Source: U. Maryland
- 2000 Census 11.9% of Americans 15 and up are divorced or separated.
- The ratio of marriages to divorces is 2 to 1.
- 43 Percent of First Marriages Break Up Within 15 Years. (CDC Study 2001)
- 95 percent of all divorced people eventually remarry. (Google answers)
- Divorce rate/year in 1996 was 4.3 per 1,000 people.
- 60 sixty percent of second marriages
fail. (Families Northwest)
- 56 percent of people over 15 are married and living with their spouses in 1998.
10 percent Currently Divorced
Others Never married, separated, widowed
See US Population Page
- Census Bureau data:
Marital History for People 15 Years Old and Over (2001) at census.gov
|Status Percent ||Men ||Women
|Never married ||29.0 ||21.8
|Ever married ||71.0 ||78.2
|Married once ||54.4 ||60.2
|Married twice ||13.1 ||14.6
|Married 3 or more times ||3.5 ||3.4
|Still Married ||58 ||55
|Ever divorced ||21.9 ||24.2
|Currently divorced ||8.9 ||10.8
|Ever widowed ||3.6 ||12.1
|Currently widowed ||2.4 ||10.6
Divorced Rates for:
All- men: 21.9%, women: 24.2%
White (non-Hispanic)- men: 23.3%, women: 25.4%
Black- men: 18.8%, women: 20.1%
Hispanic- men: 12.7%, women: 15.9%
Asian- men: 8.8%, women: 10.4%
Cohabiting (Millions of couples):
37% Dissolve (10% to 30% intend never to marry)
10% Stay Together Cohabiting
Divorce Rates and religion
Justin Wolfers reports at Wharton
U. Maryland data
Rates by Religion
Marriage Statistaics at biblenews1.com
Fact Sheet on Divorce in America
Unmarried Women having Children
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