Thursday, October 24, 2019

2010 Divorce Rates and Longer Term Trends

April 22, 2018  

On 8th December, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released the latest figures on divorces taking place in 2010. Having recently blogged about the trends over recent years, and exactly what this tells us about the health of marital relationship as an organization, it deserves thinking about how these latest stats impact the larger image.

The headline is that the variety of divorces in 2010 increased; the very first annual increase in 8 years (since 2003) and seemingly out of step with the broader trend. The total variety of divorces that happened in 2010 pertained to 119,589 representing a 4.9% boost on 2009’s 113,949 divorces. Although, on the surface area, this does seem to suggest a rise in the frequency of divorce the figure might potentially be described by other factors such as a bigger married population – more tellingly the divorce rate, that is the portion of the married population that got separated, also increased from 10.5% in 2009 to 11.1% in 2010. So does this enhance the understanding that more marriages are failing?

Instead of an indicator of a wider shift in social mindsets it is most likely that the outcomes for 2010 mark a glitch in a longer term decline in divorce rates. This type of problem or spike in divorce rates has actually been seen at other points in recent history when the nation has actually been on the tail end of an economic downturn. In 1993 the rate surged following the economic downturn between 1990 and 1992. There seems to have been a lag between the worst of the financial troubles and a jump in divorces and it appears possible that this could also hint at causality; monetary problems are among the major reasons for relationship breakdowns and the lag may be discussed by a) an initial reaction to gather’ to handle cash issues, b) the develop of subsequent pressures in the relationship and then, c) as soon as the relationship has broken down, the time it takes for divorce process itself to finish.

In terms of the broader photo, the real number of divorces has been noticeably succumbing to the last years although it is simple to associate this to the matching fall in marriages and previous divorce trends eroding the size of the married population in the first location. The fact that the divorce rate has actually been progressively falling too suggests that those who are married are less likely to divide.

More proof originates from the profile of those couples included. More divorces included individuals aged 40-44 than other age in 2010 but remarkably it appears that the age at which people divorce is approaching (both men and women had 0.2 increases to 44.2 and 41.7 respectively), albeit in line with the rise in the age at which people are weding, whilst the period of marital relationships has actually plateaued. Additionally, the highest rate of divorces for men in 2010 was seen in the 30-34 years of age age group rather than the 25-29 group in 2009 (women were unchanged). This may all recommend that marital relationships are beginning later on however are beginning to last a bit longer.

Regardless of the current figures telling us that 33% of marriages starting in 1995 had actually stopped working in the 15 year period to 2010 (up from 22% of those in the very same 15 year period from 1970) the ONS is recommending that the figures they have gotten up until now may show that the rate of divorce prior to the 15th year for more current marriages may be most likely to decrease. Once again this adds a bit more weight to the argument that couples now appear to be waiting longer (cohabiting), being more mindful but ultimately, as an outcome, being more successful in their marital relationships.

In summary, it would appear most likely that the rise in divorces in 2010 is a spike, as seen in previous periods of recession, instead of a longer term pattern. There is still evidence in the age and period of those getting separated to support the bigger image that couples are being more effective in marital relationship, but just time will tell.

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