5 Factors (such as Age at Marriage) and the Divorce Rate

About Me: If you're new to my blog, read this first. I started leading Christian divorce recovery groups in Evangelical churches in 1998. I write about "life-saving divorces," those divorces that are for very serious reasons. "Life-Saving divorces" make up nearly half of divorces in the United States. Read the definition HERE.  If you want to know why you should should have a nuanced view of divorce, see THIS. And here is the biblical rationale for condoning divorce. Although I believe many divorces are treacherous and/or sinful, I also believe a loving God gave divorce to protect the lives of his beloved people, who are made in his image, by allowing them to get out of destructive marriages.

Divorce rates by age and other factors
(after a couple had been married 5 years)

1.  AGE at marriage REALLY matters: Marrying young correlates with a higher divorce rate.

    • Less than age 18: 29% likelihood of divorce
    • Age 18-19: 24%
    • Age 20-24 years old: 17%
    • Age 25 and over: 15%


2. INCOME matters: Having low income correlates with a higher divorce rate.

    • Less than $25K: 31% likelihood of divorce
    • $25K-$49K: 19%
    • $50K or more: 13%


3. How important is RELIGION to you?   If religion isn't important, the divorce rate is likely to be higher

    • Very:  18%
    • Somewhat: 21%
    • Not:  26%


4. WHERE do you live in the United States?  Couples in the South and West have the highest divorce rates.

    • South: 24%
    • West: 19%
    • Midwest: 18%
    • Northeast: 15%


5. EDUCATION: Low education correlates with higher divorce rates.

    • Less than high school: 24%
    • High school diploma: 22%
    • More than high school: 17%


6. LIVED TOGETHER before first marriage: Cohabitation before marriage correlates with higher divorce rates.

    • Yes:  24%
    • No: 18%


Source: Bramlett MD and Mosher WD. Cohabitation, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the United States. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 23(22). 2002. p. 55–56

For more on the topic of divorce factors, and how to teach our children about marriage, see Chapter 2 in my book, The Life-Saving Divorce.

For more on the myths of divorce, buy the Life-Saving Divorce.

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