According to a brand new study of the U.S. Census data by University of Maryland sociology, professor Philip Cohen, the divorce rate in America has shockingly plummeted 18 percent from the time between 2008 and 2016. Why has it dropped so dramatically? According to Professor Cohen, it’s all thanks to Generation X, in particular millennials, who are said to be more picky about their partners when choosing a relationship and generally delaying marriage until their careers and finances are in a stable position.
Professor Philip Cohen stated in the study that specifically, younger women are to be primarily credited for the decline in divorce rates, specially noting that when women marry for the first time, they are more likely to be over 25 years old and more likely to have already earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, than men. Cohen also stated that women are also less likely to already have children when they enter into their marriage. Because of this, Cohen predicts that today’s young women “will have lower divorce rates than today’s older women.”
“The trend in new marriages is toward those with lower divorce risks,” Cohen writes. “The composition of new marriages, along with the shrinking demographic influence of Baby Boom cohorts, all but guarantees falling divorce rates in the coming years.”
Millennials’ marital patterns stand in stark contrast to those of baby boomers, who typically married young and have continued to get divorced at unusually high rates, even into their 60s and 70s, Bloomberg reported.
The study also suggests that marriage is now becoming more exclusive, as many low income individuals and less educated individuals are choosing to not tie the knot in exchange for living together, and often raising children together.
“One of the reasons for the decline is that the married population is getting older and more highly educated,” Cohen said. “Marriage is more and more an achievement of status, rather than something that people do regardless of how they’re doing.” Cohen noted that the trends “represent progress toward a system in which marriage is rarer, and more stable, than it was in the past.”
This isn’t the only recent study done on divorce rates this year. A fresh study recently reported that married households use energy and water more efficiently than divorced ones because they share these resources, such as lighting and heating. Jianguo Liu, one of the studies co-authors. also stated that the divorced households they surveyed between 1998 and 2002 used up more space, occupying between 33 and 95 percent more rooms per person than in married households.
“Hopefully this will inform people about the environmental impact of divorce,” Liu noted about the study. “For a long time we’ve blamed industries for environmental problems. One thing we’ve ignored is the household.”
Another study recently conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that an increasing number of millennials are asking for prenups before the say their vows. In a survey of lawyers, more than half had noted an increase in millennials asking for the agreements, with 62 percent saying they’d seen an overall increase from 2013 to 2016, as reported by Business Insider UK.
So while Millennials are lowering divorce rate, it also seems that millennials are looking to protect themselves incase divorce does happen in the future, and that it would seem that marriage as a whole is harming the environment more than most of us would even think about. One thing we can all agree on, however, is that marriage is definitely different in the current generation than it was even just a few years ago, when waiting to partner up – or not partnering up at all ― seemed to be much more frowned upon.