For many years the US Census and other data suggested that the national divorce rate peaked in the 1970s and has been declining ever since. This may not be true.
Sheela Kennedy and Steven Ruggles from the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota recently reported numbers that challenges this assumption. They believe, on the contrary, that the divorce rate has been rising over the past 30 years.
Their first argument against the data collected by the Census, and other such sources, is that the quality of the data is poor. They state that even the better data sources have flaws in the methods used to collect information and it’s distorted the divorce rate stats.
The Census also suggested that the divorce rate increased for people in their mid-20s and steadily declined with age. However, recent data suggests that the divorce rate has not been declining as steadily for those over the age of 35. In fact, Kennedy and Ruggles believe that people older than 60 are divorcing at a higher rate than ever.
What’s the real takeaway? Well, for those of us helping couples in Corona and Riverside, it’s that “divorce rates” can’t be the measure of marital stability. We try not to look at divorce as bad, but rather as a chance for positive change. While every long-term relationship ending is a difficult situation, the fact that our clients have the ability to end marriages that aren’t full of love or joy is a good thing. And we’re lucky to be able to help those couples go through the process as easily as possible.