Many people are familiar with the statistic that 50% of all marriages will end in divorce. But did you know that it’s no longer true? In the U.S., divorce rates have actually been on the decline since the 1980s. It’s now estimated that the likelihood of divorce has dropped a staggering 24% since 1981.
According to recent data, millennials are the ones responsible for this decline. But how are they doing it? The baby boomer generation has had remarkably high divorce rates even as they reach they’re 60s and 70s – a phenomenon known as gray divorce. Millennials, however, are not following in their parents’ footsteps.
A significant number of millennials were children of divorced parents. As a result, the fear of divorce has become a driving factor in the generation’s trend of being slow to tie the knot. According to Business Insider, millennials are waiting an average of 4.9 years longer before getting married.
Many millennials today are waiting until they are older and more financially successful before they say, “I do.” This gives them the potential to establish their career or pay off hefty student loans before entering into a marriage. Considering debt and money troubles can be a huge stressor on a marriage, this seems to be working in their favor.
Rather than moving in together after getting hitched, millennials are more likely to live together first before getting engaged. According to one study, cohabitating first has now become a part of the path to marriage. By living together first, millennials are safeguarding themselves from divorce down the road.
Because millennials are waiting until they are older and more established to get married, they also have more time to acquire their own assets. Having seen the devastation of divorce themselves, millennials are protecting themselves by signing prenups before they get hitched. Essentially, they are taking the time to set up a successful marriage.
Millennials catch a lot of flak for their avocado toast and the societal trends they destroy. A declining divorce rate, however, is perhaps one such trend that everyone can get behind.