Here is something very useful: a graphic presentation of key statistics from the US National Marriage Project’s recent report showing the inroads of divorce and non-marriage on “middle Americans”.
The UK website Promotionalcodes.org.uk, a “money-saving blog”, has produced graphics that show the changes over the last three to four decades.
The report, When Marriage Disappears, divides Americans into three classes by education: the highly-educated (with a four-year post high school degree); the least educated (no high school diploma); and the moderately educated (high school diploma and possible some post-secondary education). It finds that the 58 per cent of people in the middle class are the ones experiencing the greatest increase in marital instability.
New data indicate that trends in non-marital childbearing, divorce and marital quality in Middle America increasingly resemble those of the poor, many of whose marriages are fragile. However, among the highly educated and affluent, marriage is stable and appears to be getting even stronger – yet more evidence of America's "marriage gap."
Sean McColgan, who tipped us off about this, has written a commentary on the UK blog which includes a few points about the British scene. Also this handy summary of US data:
* How to Decrease Your Risk of Divorce (% Chance)
* Earn over $50,000 annually (-30%)
* Be college educated (-25%)
* Have a baby 7 months into marriage (-24%)
* Marry when you are over 25 years of age (-24%)
* Have a religious affiliation (-14%)
Sean fittingly concludes:
Despite the findings of the American report, it ends by saying that since 1976, the survey Monitoring The Future has found that teenagers of both sexes still desires “a good marriage and family life.” Should this be what we’re taking away from the report for America and the UK? After all, teenagers are the future and despite having seen the decline in successful marriages, they still desire marriage in their lives.