Here’s a possible reason the U.S. divorce rate is declining

On Behalf of | Jul 31, 2023 | Divorce

With divorce so common these days, it might surprise you to learn that the divorce rate actually seems to be going down in this country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the divorce rate among American women dropped significantly from 2011 to 2021.

The Census Bureau reports that there were 6.9 divorces per 1,000 women aged 15 and above in 2021. Ten years prior, the rate was 9.7. While this is probably happening for several reasons, census data shows that marriage is on the decline too. In 2011, there were 16.3 marriages per 1,000 American women; by 2021, the marriage rate had dropped to 14.9.

When broken down by state, the change in divorce rates varies quite a bit. Here in Virginia, the divorce rate dropped from 8.9 per year to 6.5. Every state’s divorce rate dropped from 2011-21, with states like Alaska, Alabama and New Mexico experiencing especially dramatic drops.

Why are divorce filings becoming less common?

Obviously, the fewer married couples there are, the fewer divorces there will be. An unmarried couple will break up without the intervention of a family law court unless the couple has children together. But those breakups don’t make it into census data about divorces. So it is likely that more women ended long-term relationships in 2021 (and 2011, for that matter) than the data suggests.

Divorce is still a possibility

While fewer American couples might be getting married these days, marriage is not going anywhere. Therefore, neither is divorce. Getting divorced means figuring out how to divide your marital assets, how much time the kids will spend with each parent, and other vital matters. With a divorce attorney’s help, you can reach an outcome that puts you in a good position for the next phase of your life.