“50% Divorce Rate”: Exposed Again!

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Many sources still cite the long-discredited, utterly bogus statistic that half of all marriages end in divorce, but the Washington Post recently reported on analysis by Flowing Data that once again exposes the lie.

Among all Americans, nearly two-thirds of marriages last until one of the partners dies – there has never been a 50% divorce rate, and the rates of divorce have actually declined since 1981. With close to half of Americans now going to college, it’s significant to note that anyone with a bachelor’s degree will stand a 72% chance of remaining married till death.

Interestingly, both Hispanics and Asians have significantly lower divorce rates than whites – presumably because of the emphasis on extended family. Among Asians, an amazing 83% who marry will never divorce – sending an important message that marital breakup always has elements of choice, and shouldn’t be viewed as inevitable.

Phony statistics shouldn’t scare couples away from marriage.

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  1. Single "Party of One"  •  Apr 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Michael continuously pushes the idea that religious cultural conservatives are somehow superior to the rest of us when it come to marriage. 10 years ago a study by Barna Research Group found the highest divorce rate was among Baptists and non-denominational "Bible-believing" Christians; rates were significantly lower among Methodists and more "liberal" churches, and also atheists. By state, "Bible Belt" states rank worse concerning divorce than the other states. Another trope of his is that single persons aren't as reliable as workers compared to married workers. In fact, single workers are expected often to work late while married workers leave earlier to watch their kids in some school event. There is also a trend in recent years to lay off older workers (often married) and higher much younger workers (often single) who can be overworked & paid less and tend to be healthier. Michael actually seems to favor a kind of "conservative cultural Sharia" requirement that would favor married people over singles.

    How would this have worked in the early '80's when Michael was still single? Here's a hypothetical but plausible job interview discussion when Michael might have applied for a media job:

    "Michael, you're probably aware that with the election of Reagan the country is in a more conservative mood……….we're looking to balance our lineup of pundits with a conservative view……..helps the ratings a bit…..we like your creative writing degree & some of the work you've done……….and you can hold your own in a debate………but we have a policy of only hiring married people………are you in a relationship? maybe we could have a "shotgun marriage" real soon? ..haha…could you just emphasize how much you WANT to be married when you interview MY boss? You know, 'just haven't met the right person'……because we like your upbeat "American Exceptionalism" viewpoint, I think we can make an exception regarding our marriage requirement… helps that you are a religious minority, that balances off the fact that you are single….."

  2. Single "Party of One"  •  Apr 22, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    p.s.: should have said "hire much younger workers", not "higher"

    • Historian  •  Apr 29, 2016 at 10:24 am

      Freudian slip, mostly likely. (Wasn't drug induced, was it?)

  3. Rich Trapp  •  Apr 29, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Nothing in this article refers to religion or says married folks are superior to singles.
    Sounds like someone has a chip on his single shoulder.

    I would like to have some sources for these numbers..Michael?

  4. D Austin San Diego, Ca  •  Apr 30, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Here is the link to the washington post article. Very informative…

  5. Dexter L. Wilson  •  May 3, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    Ms. Feldhahn, has written a new book about her research about the true divorce rate. Her study revealed that American Marriages have a much better rate than what has been a joke for years. She found the divorce rate was 31% and among Christian the rate is below 20% and can be less than 10%. One minister went back to all of the marriages he had performed and there were less than 10% of those marriages that ended in divorce. Forgive me for not remembering the writer's first name but you should be able to find it on Amazon or the CBN Bookstore. The name of the Book "Good News About Marriage". Many of you may feel I am paranoid but one of the things globalists hate is marriage. Single parents are more easily controlled because of their needs. She has had her book shown on CBN 700 Club. You probably could go to the CBN book store on line and order it.

  6. Rick  •  May 10, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    This is to "single party of one" above. For some reason I can't reply to the comment directly.

    I listen to Michael very frequently. I have not heard him say that religious conservatives are superior when it comes to marriage. Also, when you do a study and let people self identify their religion, it means nothing. You have to have a real objective standard like people who go to church every week or almost every week. Many people self identify with religious groups but it is just a cultural thing and they don't actually follow the tenants of the religion or believe them. Add an objective standard and you will actually be able to determine who is really religious and who just claims the title. And even if it is true that more Christians get divorced, I don't see what that has to do with anything? There are several reasons for which Christians believe divorce is okay. One is in the case of adultery. Another is in certain cases of abandonment of a spouse. Your arguments concerning whether single or married people make better employees are similarly off the mark.

  7. Single "Party of One"  •  May 16, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    As to the specific topic of this column, what about the fact that more people are living together before marriage and if they break up they are not included in the divorce statistics? If the marriage rate has declined wouldn't the divorce rate decline also? Would this explain why divorce rates in Bible Belt states are so high, because people in those states are more likely to get a marriage license rather than just live together? Adultery & Abandonment are common reasons for divorce among non-religious couples too…..

    As for the relevance of the issue of single people vs. married people as employees, let's try and focus like a laser beam, O.K.? Anyone who makes it a habit to read other columns of Michael's on this site will notice people will often post a comment expanding the topic to a related issue, particularly when Michael himself brings up the issue on his show; instead of sending an e-mail that will only be read by someone who works for the show, posting a comment in a column increases the chances for some stimulating feedback. My initial post here was in response TO A COMMENT MICHAEL MADE ON HIS SHOW SUGGESTING EMPLOYERS SHOULD CONSIDER HIRING MARRIED PEOPLE RATHER THAN SINGLES DUE TO SOME SUPPOSED LACK OF FOCUS ON THE PART OF SINGLES. HE MADE THIS RADIO COMMENT SHORTLY AFTER THIS COLUMN APPEARED HERE. There is a larger context here! Amongst Michael's "right-turns" was a turn to religious orthodoxy. This was not just a return to his religious heritage, but to a very traditional scriptural religiosity rather than a more liberal version of God more influenced by modern secularism which offends his sensitivities so much. Is it not reasonable to assume that he does think that religious conservatives are superior to religious liberals regarding marriage, particularly when there is more pressure against divorce among religious conservatives? Is it not reasonable to for someone like me to ask why the divorce rate is lower among more liberal Christian denominations such as Methodists than among more conservative churches such as Baptists?

  8. jack roberts  •  Oct 21, 2016 at 5:51 am

    Creative discussion ! Just to add my thoughts , if your business is wanting a Download divorce summons form , I came across a blank version here <code></code&gt;.

  9. Ursula Le Guin  •  Jun 21, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    I am so happy that Dr_mack@ yahoo. com was able to save my marriage after 3 years of heartbreak, my husband is mine again…

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