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Millennials have been blamed for killing off a lot of things. From postcards, top sheets, to bar soap, millennial trends have affected how many companies do business. But now, are millennials killing divorce?
According to University of Maryland professor Philip Cohen, from 2008 to 2016, the U.S. divorce rate dropped by 18 percent.
This drop doesn’t mean there is less heartache in the United States now compared to eight years ago. Instead, one of the likely causes for the decline is due to the fact that the married population is becoming older and more educated. The study notes that newly married women are now “more likely to be in their first marriages, more likely to have BA degrees or higher education, less likely to be under age 25 and less likely to have children in the household,” All of these factors decrease the likelihood of divorce.
Interestingly, second marriages have a higher divorce rate than first marriages, and third marriages have the highest divorce rate of all. The divorce rate of first marriages is only expected to drop as first-time Newlyweds trend older, more educated and more financially secure.
Another likely cause is that in general, the marriage rate is declining as well. Firstly, because cohabitation is not as taboo as it used to be. People are now choosing to live together without getting married. Secondly, as mentioned before, people are waiting to get married, and putting goals like their career, paying off student debt, or buying a home ahead of tying the knot. In fact, significantly more millennials are choosing not to get married at all.
In 2016, only 9% of people age 18-to-24 in the U.S. were married, compared to 45% in 1960.
Marriage is no longer something people do just because they love each other. Millennials view marriage as an option instead of a necessity, which is a shift in values from previous generations.
“The trends described here represent progress toward a system in which marriage is rarer, and more stable, than it was in the past, representing an increasingly central component of the structure of social inequality,” Cohen writes.
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