Marriage stats are a very useful tool in determining just how many people are getting divorced around the world. Are the statistics really as bad as we are led to believe? My own personal research as a journalist suggests that it most certainly is.
US Marriage Numbers
The United States government hasn’t done a great job collecting data regarding legal unions. In fact, data collection on the subject all but stopped in 1996.
It seems a high divorce rate (rumours in the 50% range) made further studies deemed unnecessary. There was, however, a comprehensive study done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2002.
It highlights marriage, divorce and cohabitation in the United States. They break up the study by ethnicity, social background and environment so it’s not really fair for me to give you a blanket figure.
Canadian Marriage Numbers
While America has dropped the ball, Canada has done a great job of studying marriage and divorce. We can extrapolate a lot from this data which is, luckily, pretty recent.
A report released on October 4, 2010 by the Vanier Institute of Family showed that 40 per cent of marriages within Canada end in divorce. These numbers are based on a census done four years prior. The report also shows that there are now more unmarried people in Canada than married people! Twenty five years ago 55 percent of Canadians were married with children. That has now dropped by sixteen percent!
It is extremely interesting to note that year four year of a union is the one most likely to wind up in divorce! There is less than one divorce for every one thousand marriages in the first year of the union. Statistics show that, if you can make it past the fourth year, your chances of getting divorced actually DECREASE! Go figure.
If you’re looking to stay together for more than thirty years, your chances are better than ever. In 1987 more than 50 percent of marriages ended in divorce before their 30th year. By 2001, that percentage had dropped to 37.7 percent.
Basically, the divorce rate worldwide is high. That’s no surprise. What is surprising is that the majority of unions tend to dissolve in their fourth year and, if you can survive that, your chances of staying together more than thirty years are better than ever!
Additionally, more people are opting not to legally join together or are deciding to marry later in life. All in all, I’d say those statistics aren’t quite as depressing as one might think ;)