While the overall divorce rate in the U.S has fluctuated over the last few decades, the past few years have seen a steady decline. New data from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) suggests that the divorce rate in the United States is at its lowest point since the 1970s. Researchers out of BGSU’s National Center for Family & Marriage Research have found that in 2015, an average of 16.9 out of every 1000 marriages ended in divorce. This represents a 25% decrease from 1980 when the divorce rate was recorded at an all-time high of 22.6 out of every 1000 marriages.
Researchers also noted that the rate of divorce in the U.S. varies significantly from state to state. Washington D.C. came in with the highest rate for the second year in a row, with nearly 30 out of every 1000 marriages ending in divorce in 2015. Hawaii had the lowest divorce rate with only 11.1 out of every 1000 couples divorcing. Hawaii was also the only state on the list to come in with a rate under 12. New York came in with the 11th lowest rate in the country.
The results are striking to be sure; however, it may be difficult to draw any immediate conclusions from this data. The numbers give little indication as to why the divorce rate continues to fall and numerous factors could be influencing divorce rates. On one hand, the decreased social stigma around divorce may reduce the pressure on couples to stay in an unhappy union. At the same time, many states across the nation have eased the requirements for divorce. For more information, interested parties can view the BGSU research online.
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