Is the Divorce Rate Decreasing? How Will that Impact Society?

By  //  July 22, 2020

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Statisticians estimate that between 2006 and 2017, the divorce rate across the lower 48 states dropped 18 percent. While this seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, some sociologists have been predicting this for some time.

Statisticians estimate that between 2006 and 2017, the divorce rate across the lower 48 states dropped 18 percent. While this seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, some sociologists have been predicting this for some time.

In the last three years, no significant change has occurred in the rate, which would seem to suggest that fewer people are getting divorced in general.

That being said, part of the reason might be due to the fact that fewer young people are getting married to begin with.

As many people wait until later to start families and deal with incredible amounts of pressure put on them by an increasingly high-tech workplace, there’s a good chance that some people might forgo marriage permanently. This would leave the question as somewhat of a moot point.

Others, however, feel that declining divorce rates are part of a much greater demographic shift.

Changing Demographics Impact the Marriage Rate

While the divorce rate might be dropping, the average cost of filing for divorce may actually be going up. Hard numbers are difficult to come by, in part because privacy regulations require attorneys to keep statistics they collect from their clients confidential.

That being said, it’s likely that at least some people who might otherwise get divorced are refusing to do so because of the sheer cost of it.

Another theory is that divorce rates are following because older people who involved with second or third marriages have sorted out many of the issues that caused their initial marriages to fail.

Since they no longer have to deal with the emotional roller coaster that once typified the average American household, their marriages last much longer. At least some demographic data would back this idea up.

Nevertheless, some other changes among younger individuals have been rather striking. Research into younger married couples would seem to suggest a sustained decline in divorce rates.

That would indicate that at least a sizable percentage of newlyweds are staying together longer, in spite of what some pundits have suggested in regards to millennial couples.

The fact that baby boomers have seen their divorce rates double since the 1990s helps to support this idea. Some economists have gone so far as to suggest that there’s a sustained phenomenon of so-called grey divorcees, who are individuals over 50 who have continually gotten remarried and then divorced.

These individuals often struggle to save money while they’re trying to drastically restructure their lives.

A few people from the world of psychology feel that the overall drop in divorce rates may actually offer a positive look into a slightly brighter future for American families, however.

High Divorce Rates Impact Society

If nothing else, then the economic cost of divorce has caused serious problems for society. Tax law changes have had to come into force in order to ensure that people are able to weather the storm that comes with being recently divorced.

In many cases, people who become separated suddenly are financially unstable, and this starts to become a drain on the economy.

As divorce rates drop, these problems start to clear up. Stable families tend to require public services less than those that aren’t, which is good news for beleaguered urban areas that are struggling to provide for their growing populations.

Some people have even suggested that younger couples who remain married longer might be at a lower risk level for certain medical conditions.

There’s a good chance that they’ll be able to reap the benefits of a more mentally healthy lifestyle. Divorces often have a profound impact on an individual’s mental health.

By forgoing this unfortunate consequence of a failed marriage, stable couples often experience lower levels of stress than those who are going through an extremely difficult time.

This may help to explain why scientists have found lower incidences of certain conditions in people who are part of a stable relationship.

Everyone is going to have a very different life experience, which makes it difficult to say exactly how certain trends are going to impact society as a whole.

It does look like people are living with their partners for a greater amount of time, however, and that does speak volumes about the overall stability of countless relationships.