Divorce is actually on the rise, and it’s the baby boomers’ fault

The wisdom about divorce in America goes something like this: the sexual revolution sparked a sharp rise in the divorce rate from 1950 until about 1980, leading to the famous formulation that half of all American marriages would end in an uncoupling, conscious or otherwise. But in the 1980s, the divorce rate began to decline. Economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers summed it up thusly in 2011:

Couples marrying after the 1970s were better calibrated about how their family life would play out and were likely better matched for a life together based upon modern gender roles. As such, they were likely in a better position to have their marriages survive than were those marrying in the 1970s.

But a new paper out this month from demographers at the University of Minnesota challenges the traditional narrative. Sheela Kennedy and Stephen Ruggles have found that the divorce rate hasn’t declined since 1980, it has only flattened. And when they controlled for changes in the age composition of the married population (the U.S. population was younger in 1980, and younger couples have a higher risk for divorce), they found that the age-standardized divorce rate has actually risen by an astonishing 40 percent since then.

Written by Christopher Ingram.  To read the full article, click here.  For more information on family law and divorce matters in San Diego and/or Riverside county, please visit our website at www.jwbrookslaw.com, and follow us everywhere @jbwrookslaw.

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