It’s already the fourth quarter of the calendar year. How is the state of marriage doing this day in age? The following information provides a round-up of all statistics, studies and research regarding the current state of marriage and divorce in the United States during the year 2015.
Marriage in 2015
According to the Christian Science Monitor, single adults now outnumber those who are married in the United States. This may be due to the fact that the average age for a first marriage has been increasing in recent years. For men, the average age for marriage is now 29 and for women it’s 27. While these are the averages, it does vary from state to state. The average age for first time marriage is approximately 24 in Idaho while it rises substantially to 30 in Washington D.C.
Recent research conducted by the Pew Research Center found that of adults 25 years old and above, nearly 20% have never married. Data compiled in 1960 showed that just 10% of adults 25 and older had never been married. It may initially seem that changing cultural standards are behind the overall decline. However, more than one third of Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 cited economic reasons as the primary obstacle to marriage.
Current Divorce Rate
While most people have heard that the divorce rate is split down the middle at exactly 50%, the true numbers appear to be slightly lower. According to statistics cited on The Blog of the Institute for Family Studies, the more accurate percentage hovers at 42%. This may be because numbers put out by other sources fail to consider that some people will get divorced more than once, thus driving up the overall percentage rates. So while the number of overall “marriages” that end in divorce may be around 50 percent, the number of actual “people” who get divorced is a little bit lower.
Many people have long-believed that waiting until they’re older will lessen their chance for divorce. Nicholas
Wolfinger, a professor at the University of Utah, recently found that the divorce rate actually rises not only for those who marry in their teens but for couples that wait past age 32 to marry. Another interesting trend has found that while the divorce rate among those who are college-educated has leveled off or dropped; the divorce rate among those with less education is still relatively high. This may lead people to assume that since those with less education normally make less money, that finances are a prime reason for divorce. This view is further bolstered by the fact that young people putting off marriage cited economic concerns as a primary reason. While finances are still one of the top causes for divorce, changes in the culture are bringing other reasons for divorce to the top of the list.
A Changing Culture
Many top ten lists favor financial incompatibility and unfaithfulness as the top reasons for divorce. But a lack of commitment and boredom are now rising as a primary reason as well. With extravagant weddings and unrealistic portrayals of marriage in movies and television, people simply have an unrealistic expectation of what day-to-day marriage actually involves. With the societal acceptance of divorce and higher numbers of unwed individuals living together, commitment to marriage as well as the ability to navigate rough times together appears to be on the decline.
So, while the overall idea of marriage may be struggling in our culture, it doesn’t mean individuals are marrying and divorcing more frequently. Celebrities and high profile individuals marry often, and under extreme public scrutiny. Remarriage, however, is even less popular than marriage. According to a report issued in March 2015 titled “Remarriage in the United States” less than 9.2 percent of males and females of all races had married three times or more. Instead of marrying more often, many people are simply putting off marriage until later in life and millions of individuals are spending a greater amount of their adult lives being single.