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US Divorce Statistics & Trends 1997

By John Crouch

In 1997, there were a total of 1,163,000 divorces granted in the United States. That's 4.3 per one thousand of the population. There are currently 19,400,000 divorced adults (1998). The median age at divorce is 35.6 for Males and 33.2 for females. The median duration of a marriage is 7.2 years. There are an estimated 1,075,000 children involved in divorce or 16.8 children per one thousand under the age of eighteen who are involved in their parents' divorce.

Divorce Trends

80% of divorced men and 75% of women remarry whether or not they have children, and most do so within three years.
Five years later (after divorce) after most men and women have remarried, women's household incomes increased slightly more above pre-divorce levels than those of their ex-husbands.
2/3 to 3/4 of divorces are initiated by women.
According to Dr. Peter Orli in Seven Myths of Divorce, women are generally more satisfied with their divorce settlements than men, and this satisfaction is stable over time.
Recent statistics suggest that 50% of all marriages will end in divorce. In Southern California the divorce rate is purported to be even higher, somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-75%.

Number of marriages   2,230,000
Marriage rate   7.5 per 1,000 total population
Divorce rate   3.6 per 1,000 population

Marriage & Divorce FAQ 2002

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, National Center for Health Statistics, Americans for Divorce Reform

Percentage of population that is married 59% down from 62% in 1990,
72% in 1970
Percentage of population that has never married 24%  
Percentage of population that is divorced 10% up from 8% in 1990,
6% in 1980
Percentage of population that is widowed 7%  
Median age at first marriage 26.9
25.3
male
female
Median age at first divorce 30.5
29
male
female
Median age at second marriage 34
32
male
female
Median age at second divorce 39.3
37
male
female
Median duration of first marriages that end in divorce 7.8
7.9
male
female
Median duration of second marriages that end in divorce 7.3
6.8
male
female
Median number of years people wait to remarry after their first divorce 3.3
3.1
male
female
Percentage of married people who reach their 5th, 10th, and 15th anniversaries 5th
10th
15th
82%
65%
52%
Percentage of married people who reach their 25th, 35th, and 50th anniversaries 25th
35th
50th
33%
20%
5%
Percentage of people who have ever been married by the age of 25 32%
50%
male
female
Percentage of people who have ever been married by the age of 35 77%
84%
male
female
Percentage of people who have ever been married by the age of 45 87%
90%
male
female
Percentage of people who have ever been married by the age of 55 95%
95%
male
female

More Divorce Statistics


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