Sunday, December 16, 2018

2010 Divorce Rates and Longer Term Trends


January 2, 2018  

On 8th December, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) launched the most recent figures on divorces occurring in 2010. Having actually just recently written about the patterns over recent years, and exactly what this tells us about the health of marriage as an organization, it is worth thinking about how these most current stats affect the larger photo.

The headline is that the number of divorces in 2010 rose; the very first annual rise in 8 years (since 2003) and seemingly out of action with the more comprehensive pattern. The total variety of divorces that occurred in 2010 concerned 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 prevalence of divorce the figure might possibly be described by other elements such as a bigger married population – more tellingly the divorce rate, that is the percentage of the married population that got divorced, likewise rose from 10.5% in 2009 to 11.1% in 2010. So does this enhance the perception that more marital relationships are failing?

Rather than a sign of a more comprehensive shift in societal attitudes it is most likely that the results for 2010 mark a problem in a longer term decline in divorce rates. This sort of glitch or spike in divorce rates has actually been seen at other points in current history when the country has been on the tail end of a recession. In 1993 the rate spiked following the economic downturn between 1990 and 1992. There seems to have been a lag between the worst of the monetary problems and a jump in divorces and it appears possible that this might also mean causality; monetary problems are one of the major reasons for relationship breakdowns and the lag might be described by a) an initial reaction to gather’ to deal with money problems, b) the develop of subsequent pressures in the relationship and after that, c) when the relationship has actually broken down, the time it takes for divorce process itself to finish.

In regards to the broader image, the actual number of divorces has actually been noticeably succumbing to the last years although it is simple to associate this to the corresponding fall in marital relationships and previous divorce patterns eroding the size of the married population in the very first location. The fact that the divorce rate has been progressively falling too suggests that those who are wed are less most likely to divide.

Additional proof comes from the profile of those couples involved. More divorces included people aged 40-44 than any other age in 2010 however interestingly 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 individuals are weding, whilst the period of marriages has actually plateaued. Additionally, the greatest rate of divorces for males in 2010 was seen in the 30-34 year old age rather than the 25-29 group in 2009 (women were the same). This may all recommend that marriages are beginning later however are beginning to last a little bit longer.

Despite the most recent figures telling us that 33% of marriages starting in 1995 had failed in the 15 year duration to 2010 (up from 22% of those in the very same 15 year period from 1970) the ONS is suggesting that the figures they have obtained up until now may indicate that the rate of divorce before the 15th year for more recent marital relationships may be likely to decrease. Once again this includes a little bit more weight to the argument that pairs now seem to be waiting longer (cohabiting), being more careful however eventually, as an outcome, being more effective in their marital relationships.

In summary, it would seem probably that the increase in divorces in 2010 is a spike, as seen in previous periods of economic crisis, instead of a longer term trend. There is still proof in the age and period of those getting separated to support the larger image that couples are being more effective in marital relationship, however only time will inform.

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