A new study has analysed risk of divorce in relation to age, ethnicity and employment status. The first thing to note is that the divorce rate isn’t climbing out of control, as is commonly believed. That’s because the easy way to calculate the number of failed marriages is to divide the number of divorces by the number of marriages. The problem here, says FlowingData’s Nathan Yau, is that “The people who marry now aren’t the same people who divorce now.”
A serial divorcee will pop up in the numbers many times, while many of today’s marriages will last a good long time. No group ever goes past the 45 percent mark. Also, many couples are now considering de-facto relationships instead of marrying. This can be for many reasons: sometimes they don’t feel the need to marry or simply don’t have the funds. Many couples state that they feel as if they are already married, and partaking in a ceremony is not needed.
However, some studies have shown that there are ways to reduce the risk of divorce. Couples can divorce for many reasons, but some couples’ risk of divorce can be higher.
Education Reduces the Risk of Divorce
The more educated people are, the less likely they are to divorce. The twist is that the genders switch somewhere in the middle. At 60 years old, people with high-school level education, more men (25%) than women (22%) are divorced or remarried. At bachelor degree education level, we see a reversal—20% of females are divorced or remarried, vs. 17% of men. At advanced levels of education the numbers jump to 19% for females and drop to 13% for males.
As to how employment status affects marriage, the numbers are also surprising. Being unemployed does increase the risk of divorce, but overall the graphs are shaped the same, ramping up after the thirties and leveling off again by the seventies. The surprise is, again, between genders. Employed women over 60 are more likely to be divorced than employed men, perhaps due to their financial independence.
Having a higher degree can also lead to a financially stable job, which can take away from the stress within a marriage.
Risk of Divorce in Different Countries
According to data collected by the United Nations, Ireland legalised divorce in 2000 and the divorce rate has remained stable. Yet in Spain, which legalised divorce in 1990, the divorce rate has more than doubled.
If you are living in Russia, the bad news is that you have the highest risk of divorce in the world, with 4.5 divorces per 1000 of the population. The lowest divorce rate belongs to Guatemala, at just 0.3 divorces per 1000. Australia currently sits about 2.2 per 1000 and New Zealand at 1.9 per 1000. The United States sits at around 2.3 per 1000.
Other countries with high divorce rates include Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Aruba. Countries with low divorce rates include Peru, Ireland and Mexico.
Risk of Divorce by Profession
The professions most at risk of divorce were identified by Michael Aamodt and Shawn McCoy, based on US Census data. One disclaimer before diving into the data: the study identified people who were currently divorced, not those who were previously divorced — thus it may understate the numbers.
Some surprising results are:
- Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides have a 28.95% divorce rate.
- Massage therapists have a 38.22% divorce rate
- Dancers & choreographers have a 43.05% divorce rate
If you want to know which professions had low divorce rates:
- Optometrists have a 4.01% divorce rate
- Podiatrists have a 6.81% divorce rate
Risk of Divorce by Religion
It is difficult to obtain reliable data on divorces among the different religions.
- According to U.S. census data, as of 2011, approximately 3.6 of every 1,000 people in the United States end in divorce.
- Catholics had one of the lowest incidences of divorce, with 28 percent having been divorced
- Protestant individuals (anyone who identified themselves as non-Catholic, but Christian) had a divorce rate of approximately 34 percent
Dr. Ilyas Ba-Yunas, a professor of sociology at the State University of New York found in his research that the divorce rate among American Muslims was slightly more than 31 percent. The most recent, available study on divorce statistics among those of Jewish faith are from the Barna group, which says that approximately 30 percent of those surveyed have been divorced.
In marriages of which both parties are Mormon and the couple marries in the temple, the divorce rate is less than six percent for men and less than seven percent for women.
How can you decrease your risk of divorce based on these statistics? Go to university, marry a podiatrist, move to Peru and become a Mormon. (Just kidding.)
If you need to talk about any issue relating to separation and divorce, please contact us today. We offer a free, 10-minute phone consultation with our friendly, experienced family lawyers.