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Go Ahead and Thank a Millennial for America’s Declining Divorce Rate

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If you’re a GenXer or Xennial like me, you were raised on cautionary tales of relationships and marriage that all included, at one point or another, the stark fact that 50% of all marriages in America ended in divorce.

Many of us chose to get married anyway, and collectively, I’m not sure we’ve made better decisions than our parents did when it comes to life partners.

Millennials, though – the generation after us –  are getting divorced less often than Boomers and my fellow GenXers.

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Which is to say, that scary 50% divorce rate statistic?

It is no longer.

According to Bloomberg, divorce rates dropped by 18% between 2008 and 2016. They analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and controlled for related factors like age (older people are less likely to get divorced), and even then, the rate dropped by almost 10%.

Baby Boomers, by contrast, divorced at a higher rate than any previous generations – perhaps just because it became less taboo and women became more likely to be able to support themselves financially, neither of which is a bad thing if you ask me.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

While millennials are blamed for hurting the economy by not buying homes and choosing not to have children, the fact is, they’re financially more insecure than any American since the Great Depression. They’re weighed down by student debt and staring at high costs of living combined with low wage growth.

So, maybe they just can’t afford to get divorced?

Perhaps, but experts think it’s more likely that they, too, are marrying later in life, spending more time dating people and actually figuring out whether they’ll be a good life partner before pulling the trigger. Statistics show that both factors correlate with lower chances for divorce.

Philip Cohen, the paper’s author, concludes that “the U.S. is progressing toward a system in which marriage is rarer, and more stable, than it was in the past.”

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Which is to say, kids today might be getting married less often or waiting longer, but when they do decide to take a trip down the aisle, it’s more often actually forever.

So there you go – one less reason to hate on Millennials today.