When marriages were unhappy or unsafe, divorce was not a favorable option for most people generations ago. However, it has become less taboo over time. Divorce rates spiked in the 1980s, and nearly half of all marriages ended in divorce.
Today, divorce numbers are actually going down. What is the reason for the change?
Low marriage rates
The top reason that divorce rates are lower overall is that fewer people are getting married, especially among millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996). These young adults are more likely to willingly embrace the single life, reports USA Today. Others choose to cohabitate for years before (or instead of) officially tying the knot. Most influential to the low rates, however, is economic security.
Millennials are in no rush to get married until they have secured economic success according to their individual standards. That may mean advancing their career, paying off student loans or owning a home. Reaching this level of stability has contributed to the rise in the age when people first get married, which is about 27 years old for women and 29 years old for men, shares the New York Times.
By this time, millennials also tend to be more educated and mature. They have taken the time to develop themselves, accumulate life experiences and determine what they want from life and relationships. This emotional maturity is also a factor in the low divorce rates once millennials do get married.
Perspective on marriage
Millennials tend to put less value on romance. They have known their partners for longer before marriage than those in other age groups, and they are more selective when it comes to long-term relationships. Others feel that marriage is unnecessary to a relationship or is a hindrance for independence. Many have been through their own parents divorcing, as well. Because of this more careful outlook, millennials still create prenuptial agreements to protect their assets.