Young love may be fickle, but when it comes to divorce, it’s older couples who are increasingly turning to a split, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.
Data gathered from the 2015 American Community Survey showed that divorce rates among adults older than 50 have doubled since 1990, though divorce rates for those younger than 40 have declined. Couples in their 40s saw a mild increase in divorce rates from 1990 to 2015.
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Divorce overall in the United States has become less prevalent in the last four decades, according to Time Magazine. Rates of divorce reached their lowest point last year since 1980, according to data collected by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University.
Though the trend indicates rates of divorce rising dramatically in older couples, younger couples overall are divorcing more — about 2.4 percent of married people under 40 divorced in 2015, compared to just 1 percent of those over 50, according to Pew. That rate of divorce for older couples has also remained steady since 2008, meaning the increase in divorces has been a staying trend.
There are several reasons for older couples’ rising rates of divorce, the Pew analysis suggests, including a turbulent trend of divorces among Baby Boomers in their young adulthood that might contribute to increased rates of divorce in their remarriages. Of those older adults who divorced in 2015, nearly half were in second or consequent marriages.
It’s not just age that’s been correlated to fewer lasting marriages. A February study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that rates of marrying at all have declined among younger adults as manufacturing jobs have disappeared, which researchers suggested was because the decreased economic opportunities made men “less valuable as marriage partners.”