Millennials Are Causing the U.S. Divorce Rate to Plummet


Americans under the age of 45 have found a novel way to rebel against their elders: They’re staying married.

The result is a U.S. divorce rate that dropped 18 percent from 2008 to 2016,

Young people get the credit for fewer divorces because boomers have continued to divorce at unusually high rates, all the way into their 60s and 70s. From 1990 to 2015, according to Bowling Green’s National Center for Family and Marriage Research, the divorce rate doubled for people aged 55 to 64, and even tripled for Americans 65 and older.

Well that’s refreshing. Though I still find the “grey divorce” trends rather odd.


Based on the young adults I know, and know about, I think the conclusion about millenials is shaky. Far more young people are just living together, rather than marrying. Their breakups do not enter the divorce stats. I also think when or if they do marry, they marry much later. Thus there are fewer divorces in a certain age range simply because fewer couples have been married X number of years, at a given age.

Really there is no measurable, comparable divorce rate, because you are comparing different populations. You can guess different marriage to divorce ratios, but that is something else.


All of these points are covered in the linked article.


Millennials might be doing a better job of staying married. One almost can’t do a worse job than the baby boomer generation. They are awful in so many ways. But in fairness to them their own parents ruined them.


The way I see it a divorce is highly suggestive that a given couple shouldn’t have married in the first place. It seems that being more selective about marriage is the key here.

Also, I’d argue that a divorce is much more damaging than a breakup

There is data showing that even at similar ages the divorce rates of baby boomers is higher. If you want a real population difference, check the marriage rates of college vs non-college educated adults.


In fairness, the boomers experienced a major change in the terms of marriage. No longer were circumstance, society, and government pressuring a couple to stay married.


That is true too. It seems to me divorce in the modern age really started before the boomers, but it found its fullest expression in them. They sort of went hog wild with it.


Also, I’d argue that a divorce is much more damaging than a breakup
End prior post
I suppose marriage itself is risky. Friendship is risky. Reading is risky. Waking up is risky. By staying in bed, you can avoid all kinds of perils.

I’m not at all sure breaking up a couple living together is less damaging than something else. One might argue inability to have children is less damaging, or inability to have friends is less damaging.

Thinking about the famous quote from Love Story.


The Boomers were the ones who radically changed Western society so it’s not so surprising and most still hold to those views.
Falling divorce rates sounds good but dig deeper, as with all statistics:

Fewer people are getting married, and those who do are the sort of people who are least likely to get divorced, he said.

So it’s not a shift in behaviour or attitude in the entire population in being more self-sacrificial, more caring and etc. Nothing to celebrate. The underlying issues are still unsolved. Not the best comparison but the same effect. So if a bunch of people stop reporting crimes because they feel the police don’t care, then it looks like crime is going down.


Millennials get married later in life, typically after having multiple partners already, so that has to make a big difference.


It’s a shift in that people are carefully considering the risks and possible outcomes.

It seems to me that fewer people are frequenting the area where crime occurs, this less victims.


As it was explained on “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” yesterday, millennials are waiting longer to get married, so when they do get married they have long since given up finding Mr. Perfect and are desperately willing to settle for Mr. So-So.


So what would be the mans motovation, for marrying at all or staying married.

I mean, like are maybe men also looking for different things?


I would like to see number of children in these studies. Could it be once the kids move out, there is less need to stay together?


I think that’s driving the “grey divorce” trend. Those who kept it together for the kids.


The article didn’t really say much about a “gray divorce” trend (unless I totally missed it–we “gray people” do that sometimes!).

What’'s the story? Is there an article about this?

I’m asking because my husband and I will celebrate our 40th anniversary in 2019, and we’re definitely gray, and I think it’s a good idea to learn about “grey divorce trend” so we can avoid it! :smile:


This one doesn’t talk about it much. But here’s the Wiki,

Basically, the divorce rate for the over 40 crowd has increased. Even those in their 50s are splitting more than 50 something’s did decades ago.


So sad.

I wonder if any of this can be attributed to the fear of old age, infirmities, and death.

Nowadays, it seems “wrong” or “weak-willed” somehow to get old and develop wrinkles, bad knees, weight gain, etc. We become unhappy with ourselves because we are doing what is perfectly normal–getting weaker and closer to the end. In our attempts to deal with our unhappiness, we get involved with someone who makes us “feel” young and beautiful and HAPPY again.

Speaking of weight gain, obesity claims a high percentage of Americans, including many older Americans (my husband and me!). There’s an abundance of food, including many tasty junk foods (sorry, health nuts–YOU may think Cheetos taste awful and Snickers are “too sweet”–but people like me and my husband love them!). With stress-filled lives, we turn to food, especially easy-to-eat-in-the-car junk food.

People have always gotten a little soft and even chubby as they age, but nowadays, many of us carry 50 or more extra pounds, and suffer from some of the physical ailments connected to obesity (e.g., diabetes, clogged arteries, osteoarthritis pain, etc.). This makes it difficult to carry out retirement plans made back in our younger years (e.g., travelling, hiking the Appalachian Trail, doing a lay mission project, volunteering, being a foster parent, etc.) This leads to disappointment with life, depression, and a desire to try to “start over”, perhaps with a new partner who, for some reason, is able to inspire us to get moving on weight lost and fitness.

Also, many of us boomers grew up in the 1960s, when we were all convinced that we could bring about peace and love throughout the world.

So now we are in our 60s and 70s and the world is worse than ever–more wars, terrorism, violent crimes, gangs, inner city despair, world hunger, natural disasters and the claim that it is caused by “global warming” (back when we were young, we were told that the world is getting colder and eventually we will enter another Ice Age).

And it’s discouraging. We feel like we’ve all failed–all that protesting and singing and drinking Coke-a-cola on a hillside was for nothing. So it’s no wonder that we are trying to “do it all over again,” thinking that maybe THIS time, our “young” lives–and perhaps a new partner!–will bring about the Age of Aquarius.

This is an interesting topic to me.


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