For decades, news outlets ran stories about the escalating divorce rate in the US—at least, until millennials came along. At first glance, it appears as though millennials are getting divorced less.
Today, I'm giving you my thoughts on whether or not millennials are really getting divorced less, and if they are, why.
Is the Divorce Rate Really Decreasing?
It's a complicated question, but the answer is probably yes... with some caveats. Let me explain.
A study by University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen recently found that the US divorce rate dropped 18 percent from 2008 to 2016. There are a few factors that probably play into that decrease:
- Twenty-nine percent of Gen Xers—the generation preceding millennials—hold a bachelor's degree. In contrast, 39% of millennials have one. Higher education has been linked to a lower divorce rate.
- The average marriage age is up from 20 to 27 for women and 23 to 29 for men since 1960. Since the oldest millennials are just approaching their 40s, most haven't been married for very long. This is one of the major caveats to the low millennial divorce rate. Millennials could very well have a higher divorce rate when they're older—we just don't know yet.
- Baby boomers have an exceptionally high divorce rate. The divorce rate for individuals aged 50 and older—many of which are baby boomers and parents to millennials—has roughly doubled in the last 25 years.
All of these factors combine to create the perfect environment for a low divorce rate among millennials. You've got people who are waiting to get married until they acquire significant assets, reducing financial friction in the marriage. Additionally, many millennials watched their parents go through ugly divorces, and aren't desperate to repeat that process. However, only time will tell if the millennials generation's low divorce rate will persist as they continue to get older.
At The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff, I work with clients to help them navigate divorce with confidence.To learn more or schedule a consultation with my office, contact me online or via phone at