Divorce often provides a window into various aspects of society. Divorce rates are sometimes tied to economic conditions and the changing attitudes of Americans.
A decrease in divorce rates and in marriages in the U.S. and in the state of Pennsylvania indicate subtle changes in society.
Numbers of marriages and divorces in the past decade
A report from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that from 2008 to 2018 both marriages and divorces declined across the U.S. In 2018, Pennsylvania recorded fewer marriages than the rest of the U.S. per 1000 women 15 and older. The Pennsylvania rate came in at 14.7 compared to the U.S. rate of 16.6. The overall marriage rate in the U.S. fell from 17.9 to the 16.6 rate in this ten-year period.
Using the same metrics, the divorce rate in the U.S. dropped from 10.5 to 7.7 during this period. In Pennsylvania, the divorce rate dropped from 8 divorces every 1000 women to 6.5. Only seven states recorded a lower divorce rate during this period than Pennsylvania.
Reasons for fewer divorces
Time reported that the decline of divorce rates in the U.S. began in the 1980s, though the reasons for this drop did not necessarily point to positive trends. For example, evidence suggests those getting married in recent times were those with the most money and the best jobs. That is, others may have chosen not to marry because they did not have the money to do so.
Recently, many young adults choose to live together instead of marry. Statistics show that 15% of couples 25 to 34 live together now, as opposed to only 5% two decades ago.