While growing up, you probably heard of damning statistics claiming that half of marriages end in divorces. Baby boomers got married young, got divorced, remarried and did it all over again, affecting the following generation’s perception of marriage. Now, divorce rates are plummeting and it’s all because of millennials, who are taking their time when it comes to tying the knot. Some of them are also disregarding marriage altogether.
A study from the University of Maryland shows that divorce rates dropped by 18 percent between 2008 and 2016. While part of this is due to the fact that couples are getting older (older couples are less likely to divorce) and marriage is becoming less popular, millennials are taking a different approach towards marriage when compared to previous generations. “The change among young people is particularly striking,” says Susan Brown, sociology professor at Bowling Green State University. “The characteristics of young married couples today signal a sustained decline [in divorce rates] in the coming years.”
Marriage and family therapist Emy Tafelski spoke to the Tampa Bay Chronicle and explained that millennials have rearranged their priorities, considering work and personal achievements as more valuable than getting married young and starting a family. While this results in a decrease in marriages, she considers that this is something positive for her patients, saying, “The more discerning we are on who we choose to spend our lives with, the better an outcome we will have.”
The study on divorce rates concludes that couples who are currently getting married are older, more educated, and more likely to stay together. “Marriage is more and more an achievement of status, rather than something that people do regardless of how they’re doing.”