preview

Divorce And Unmarried And Single Parenting

Decent Essays
Increase in Divorce and in Unmarried and Single-Parenting

The rate of divorce rose sharply in the United States during the 1970s following the implementation of no-fault divorce laws in every state. In the last decade, the rate of divorce has stayed stable or diminished slightly. Most social scientists see this as a result, not of stronger marriages, but of the increased proportion of couples who choose to cohabit rather than marry. No record is kept of these relationships; neither their initiation nor their end is captured in official statistics. Race and social class both have a significant impact on the likelihood of choosing marriage over cohabitation, at least at the time when children enter the picture. Marriage rates continue relatively high among college-educated middle and upper middle class young white Americans, and are much lower among working-class Americans and among racial minorities (American Community Survey; The State of Our Unions).

[insert divorce rate graph here]

Even within the middle class, though, marriage and satisfaction with marriage is on the decline:
In Middle America, marriage is in trouble. Among the affluent, marriage is stable and appears to be getting even stronger. Among the poor, marriage continues to be fragile and weak. But the newest and perhaps most consequential marriage trend of our time concerns the broad center of our society, where marriage, that iconic middle-class institution, is foundering. Among Middle Americans,
Get Access