Millennials divorce rate driving down overall number

Divorce has declined over the past ten years, and the reason why may surprise you: Millennials.

Yes, the group of Americans ages 23 to 38 that has been categorized as a social-media-obsessed batch of slackers who hide out in their parents’ basements, scoff at hard work and fear commitment. Yes, that group.

In reality, they’re a group that is often inaccurately represented. And they’re driving down the divorce rate.

Philip Cohen, a professor at the University of Maryland, found that the divorce rate fell 18 percent from 2008 to 2016. In his study, Cohen wrote:

“… divorce rates have risen for older women while falling for younger women. But if the increase for older women mostly reflects the experience and orientation of the Baby Boom generation, then we would not expect today’s younger women to join their upward trajectory. And if people marrying now are showing less proclivity for divorce, then we would expect them to reach longer marital durations, at which divorce rates are lower.”


He continued, “In fact, closer examination of age-specific divorce rates for the most recent decade shows that the overall drop has been driven entirely by younger women. It seems likely these women, who will reach longer marital durations, and who are less likely to be divorced and therefore remarried later in life, will have lower divorce rates than today’s older women.”

In 2017, a group of Emerson students ranging in age from 20 to 30, wrote a story for The Boston Globe aimed at myths about Millennials. They explained they actually aren’t “party people” (nearly three-quarters prefer staying in on the weekends) and that they do want to own homes (a Trulia survey cited in the story showed a whopping 93 percent want to own homes.) They also confirmed some negative stereotypes … like the one that Millennials lack basic life skills. According to the story, only eight percent knew how to check their tire pressure.

But the myth that Millennials are afraid of marriage?

“Those who think Millennials are committed to living an unattached, diaper-free existence have it all wrong,” Emerson student Alexa D’Agostino said in the 2017 article. “I’m a 30-year-old engaged to be married next summer. My mother can’t wait: All through my 20s she reminded me she wed at 23 and had my older sister just a few years later. But I hadn’t found someone with the qualities I was looking for. And I wasn’t yet financially stable and didn’t feel ready to make a big commitment.”

Perhaps that’s why the divorce rate is dropping.

If you need information about divorce or would just like to discuss your options, contact The Law Offices of Joshua T. Crain.