I just learned about a new book written by a Harvard-trained Wall Street analyst and social researcher. She was surprised by her extensive studies that disclosed that the figures we often hear about divorce, and have always been shocking to me, were wrong! We have been told again and again that the divorce rate is about 50 percent, and that this is true even among Christians, who are such strong advocates of marriage.
Author Shaunti Feldhahn found that the divorce rate in America is not and has never been anywhere near 50 percent! She states that the rate has also been steadily declining since 1980. (Perhaps the amount of co-habitation has an affect on these figures.)
In any case, the recent research reveals that 71 percent of women are still married to their first spouse. Widowhood reduces the remaining 29 percent to an approximate divorce rate of 25 percent. Further, with the help of research by the Barna Group, deepening the study of those claiming to be Christians, the reality is that “true Christians” actually have a divorce rate of about 22 percent. Hmm! Wonder who ever came up with the 50 percent figure, and who helped that figure become “fact”?
Of course, there is no way to determine how many people try cohabitation, and then walk away from it; apparently a large number. Lastly, according to a Pew Research poll, barely half of Americans are currently married, only 51 percent of those over 18, compared with 72 percent in 1960. Many different factors here, one of them being that people who marry, are doing that much later in life than they did 50 years ago. Anyway, food for thought.
F.L. “Pat” Jacobs