Statistical Myth #1: 50% of marriages end in divorce

“50% of all marriages end in divorce” -says most people I’ve ever talked to about marriage

Next thought bubble for the non-married, but wants to make a commitment person: “Ahhh marriage is a terrible thing and why bother if it’s only a 50/50 proposition. Terrible odds.”

Next thought bubble for the having trouble in a marriage person: “Oh well, might as well, it was 50/50 anyways”

This is one statistic that has really irked me for a long time. I didn’t think it was true and here are some secondary sources that describe it’s likely origins and explains why it is actually hard to tell (i.e. some states don’t report divorces to data compilers). Please do everyone a favor and try to dispel this myth the next time you hear someone quote it.

Yes, the divorce rate per year is half that of the marriage rate, “but researchers say that this is misleading because the people who are divorcing in any given year are not the same as those who are marrying, and that the statistic is virtually useless in understanding divorce rates.”,9171,1989124,00.html


One response to “Statistical Myth #1: 50% of marriages end in divorce

  1. The media will always find a catch headline though, a way to manipulate information to seem more sensationalistic than it is. If someone is that concerned with divorce that they wont consider marriage, I’d say they’re right in avoiding it. When you’re in love you may have doubts but the possibility of it ending in divorce shouldn’t be something that stops you from moving forward.

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