We make better choices about who we marry today than we did 40 years ago according to the latest study of marriage and divorce in the UK.
The Marriage Foundation, a think tank, has carried out a study into how divorce rates have changes since the late 60s. The final report which is imaginatively titled ‘What is the divorce rate?’ features a number of interesting facts about divorce. Notably, the myth of the ‘seven year itch’ (which dictates that married couples relationships often break down after 7 years) is dispelled. However, perhaps more importantly, couples are found to be making wiser decisions about who and when to marry than they did in the past.
Marriage and divorce figures have not exactly been reliable over the last few decades. Very often, two sets of data will contradict each other meaning that different people may interpret trends in different ways. With so many studies carried out on the subject of divorce you could find a set of statistics to support near enough any argument. Indeed simply tracking down the exact divorce or marriage rate is far from straightforward in many instances.
Thankfully, this study details the figures explicitly, removing the need to read between the lines. Here are some of the stats:
• 20% of married couples divorce within 10 years meaning there is no change since the last 1960s
• Only 1 in every 200 couples get divorced after 40 or more years of marriage
• 50% of all divorces take place within 10 years of getting married
• More divorces take place within and 6 years than any other period
• The divorce rate itself has fallen from its 1993 peak
Apparent trends in marriage and divorce have traditionally been short-lived so it is difficult to say how long the study’s findings will be applicable for. Perhaps better decision making over marriage is attributable to economic factors, a greater willingness to discuss issues, or a tendency to work harder at relationships. Whatever, the driving factors behind these recent statistics are, the trends are positive and we can only hope they continue.
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