The rate at which people divorce varies from country to country. However, gathering of divorce statistics from different countries is difficult because some countries do not release their official records. Nevertheless, most divorce records show the figures three to four years ago, and despite this situation, it is possible to make comments on divorce rates in certain Western countries.
In the USA, it is generally accepted that up to 50% of all marriages fail compared to other countries such as Australia, the UK and Canada. There are different ways of looking at divorce statistics. For instance, you can read how many divorces occur per head of population. In the USA, the recent figures show that 8 people per 1000 of the population get divorced compared to the Western countries with 5 divorced people per 1000 members of the population.
In the US it is easier and more accurate to make your study on a state rather than a federal basis. Each state is required to keep marriage and divorce records and you can obtain relevant information via the appropriate government body in each particular state.
The rate of divorce has moved dramatically in some countries recently. In the UK, the rate of divorce has dropped by about 15% in recent years; Australia’s divorce rate has increased considerably. Of course the statisticians provide the raw data and the commentators provide the opinions as to why this is so. In Australia for instance, the marked increase in the rate of divorce is likely to have occurred because of changes in federal law, making it much easier to obtain a divorce. By introducing the grounds of ‘irreconcilable differences’, couples wishing to divorce simply had to separate for a set minimum period and then list the grounds for divorce as irreconcilable differences.
The rate of divorce does include information other than the overall number of divorces as a percentage of all marriages. You can discover the average length of a marriage and the age at which people are more likely to divorce. For instance there is a high dissolution of marriages in the first few years and a low number of marriage failures once a couple has entered into many years of marriage. That’s not to say couples don’t divorce at different stages of their union but that marriages are more likely to break down in the early years than if a couple has been married for a long time.
Presently, the average length of marriage in the United States eight years. This fact and many others give an interesting– if not depressing view of marriage– and its possible failure. Divorce rates also reflect the societal problems that surround marriage such as the increasing number of women in the workforce, the change in divorce legislation and the ease with which divorce can be obtained today.
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