Attorney Richard D. Zasada Notes Drop in Marriage Rate While Divorce Rate Remains High
Palm Coast, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 26, 2013 – While the divorce rate in the U.S. remains high, the marriage rate is dropping, according to a new study.
Researchers said that the marriage rate has reached a low of 31.1 marriages for every 1,000 women who are unmarried. That number was 90.2 in 1950 and 92.3 in 1920. Although there have been fluctuations in the past, with the marriage rate dropping slightly in the 1930s and again in the 1960s, the marriage rate has been on a steady decline since the 1970s.
The divorce rate, meanwhile, remains high in the U.S., and people are less likely to remarry, according to experts such as Richard D. Zasada, a divorce attorney in Jacksonville, Florida.
“The divorce rate in the U.S. has remained relatively steady for the past few decades,” said Zasada. “Currently about 45 percent of marriages are expected to end in divorce.”
The researchers said that only 47 percent of American women over the age of 15 are married today, the lowest rate since the turn of the 20th century. At its peak in 1950, the marriage rate for women age 15 or older was 65 percent.
This is in contrast to the percentage of women who are separated or divorced, which has increased over time. The rate is at 15 percent today compared to 1 percent in 1920.
Researchers said that the dropping marriage rate could partly be explained by people delaying marriage for longer than in the past. Today the average age for a woman at first marriage is 27, the highest in over 100 years. The study's authors said that today marriage is not considered necessary, but is looked at as one of several options, with some people choosing to cohabit and others choosing to remain single.
According to the study, the decline in the marriage rate differed by education. In the past 50 years, the percentage of college-educated women who marry has remained steady, while the greatest decline was seen in the percentage of women without a high school education who marry. Sixty percent of women with a college degree are married, compared to less than 30 percent of those who did not earn a high school diploma.