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blog home Divorce New Census Data Finds Divorce in U.S. Declining, But “Seven-Year Itch” Persists

New Census Data Finds Divorce in U.S. Declining, But “Seven-Year Itch” Persists

By Sheryl Rentz on May 23, 2011

Recently released data from the Census Bureau shows that divorces in the United States have leveled off slightly after decades of increase, with couples now somewhat more likely to reach 10 years of marriage. However, the “seven-year itch,” the trend of couples divorcing after seven years of marriage, was found to have carried on, reports ABC News. The new data finds that almost one out of every two first marriages is estimated to end in divorce, with about 46 percent of marriages not lasting until their 25th wedding anniversary.

The data is based upon the most recent figures from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, conducted by the Census Bureau, which surveyed 55,497 adults who have been or are married. According to the data, about 75 percent of people who have been married since 1990 reported they had been married for 10 years, which is an increase of about three percent for people who were married in the 1980s, when divorce rates peaked in the U.S. Divorce rates were the highest in the 1960s and 1970s, after laws were passed that made it easier to divorce.

Based upon the new data, couples who did divorce separated after about seven years of marriage, on average, and divorced one year later. The trend is often referred to as the “seven-year-itch.” For people who got remarried, typically, four years passed before they did so.

The Census Bureau partially credits the slight decline in divorce to the recent increase in couples who chose cohabitation instead of marriage, as well as the increase in the average age of marrying couples as many chose to wait before entering into long-term commitments.

For many years, Philadelphia divorce lawyer Sheryl R. Rentz has assisted many clients as they navigate through the complexity of the divorce process, helping them determine a solution that best fits their needs. If you have questions about getting a divorce in Pennsylvania, call 610-645-0100 today.

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