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Divorce Rate

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by Deke40, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. Deke40

    Deke40 Thread Starter

    Jun 27, 2002
    I have been hearing and repeating this misinformation a long time.

    Fifty Percent of American Marriages End in Divorce-Fiction!

    Summary of Rumor:
    Marriage has deteriorated so much that half the marriages in the United States are failing. There is a 50 percent chance that your marriage will not make it.

    The Truth:
    This is a fascinating piece of misinformation that is so respected that it is quoted without attribution by some of the best authors, broadcasters, and writers.

    Marriage is a lot of hard work and people who are putting that work into it don't need the discouraging and untrue burden hanging over their heads that their relationship has only a 50 percent chance of surviving.

    The error has resulted from various misreadings of the statistics.

    One is to compare the number of marriages in a given year to the number of divorces in a given year. It is true that in any given year there may be twice as many marriages as divorces. If, in your state or county, there were 100 marriages last year but 50 divorces, it would seem, at first glance, that half the marriages were ending in divorce. But that figure does not take into account all the marriages that already existed. In a year in which there were 100 marriages and 50 divorces, for example, there may have already been 1,000 other marriages that already existed. That's an entirely different picture and means that only 5 percent of the marriages ended in divorce, not fifty percent. Of course, if that continues to happen every year, there is going to be an impact on the overall number of divorces compared with the overall number of marriages.

    Veteran pollster Louis Harris says that only about 11 or 12 percent of people who have ever been married have ever been divorced. That means that by his figuring, 90 percent of American marriages survive.

    Researcher George Barna did a professional survey which was designed to reflect the nation as a whole. He found that 24 percent of adults who had ever been married had experienced divorce.

    Regardless, there isn't any credible source that we've found to support the fifty percent divorce rate myth.

    Here is the site:

  2. Fyzbo


    Feb 6, 2002
    I find that interesting. According to the National Vital Statistics Reports found here the divorse rate was aproximately half of the marriage rate for the years 1998, 1999, and 2000(page 6). For each year approximately 8 out of every 1000 people were married and 4 out of every 1000 people were divorced. This may sound like the mistake commented on in the first part of the article, how it does not take into account past marriages that already exist, but given that this rate has been consistent for more than one year to add in past marriages would cause an error unless we also count past divorces. If we do that we no longer have current statistics, but statistics from the time we went back to till the present. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong (which I may well be), but I've taken a lot of math and this is how I see it.
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