So we are having a bit of fun with our divorce
picture. But the truth about our high divorce rates
is a different story.
Did you know that the so-called "50% divorce
rate" is a myth, and marriage is alive and
well and flourishing in the USA?
Nearly 70% of first marriages manage to last until
one of the partners dies. The wedlock-is-dead advocates
are simply divorced from reality.
They are challenged head on by two professors from
the University of Pennsylvania in their Sept 2007
column in the New York Times.
"The great myth about divorce is that marital
breakup is an increasing threat to American families,
with each generation finding their marriages less
stable than those of their parents," Professors
Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers write.
The story of ever-increasing divorce is a
powerful narrative. It is also wrong. In fact, the
divorce rate has been falling continuously over
the past quarter-century, and is now at its lowest
level since 1970. While marriage rates are also
declining, those marriages that do occur are increasingly
more stable. For instance, marriages that began
in the 1990s were more likely to celebrate a 10th
anniversary than those that started in the 1980s,
which, in turn, were also more likely to last than
marriages that began in the 1970s.
Stevenson and Wolfers cite specific numbers: The
narrative or rising divorce is also completely at
odds with counts of divorce certificates, which
show the divorce rate as having peaked at 22.8 divorces
per 1,000 married couples in 1979 and to have fallen
by 2005 to 16.7
. The facts are that divorce
is down, and todays marriages are more stable
than they have been in decades.
And who are we to contradict the journal of record,
the New York Times.