Do 50% Of Marriages End In Divorce?
I had a conversation with a client recently about that oft-repeated statistic that 50% of marriage end in divorce. I corrected the client with the information that I have, which is that about 70% of first marriages are successful. That 50% stat comes from the fact that if you get divorced once, you are much more likely to get divorced again, so while a number of marriages are ending in divorce, it’s actually a much smaller pool of people that we’re talking about here than simply “half of all marriages.”
Which got me thinking, what other assumptions do we have about marriage that are no longer (or never were) true? Here are some statistics about the state of marriage and divorce in Canada:
As of 2006, 84.1 per cent of Canadian families were married or common-law couple families, a proportion that has held steady in recent decades.
Common law relationships are much more common now than they’ve ever been, rising from 5.6% of the population in 1981, to 15.5% in 2006.
As of 2006, the number of stepfamilies in Canada was the same as it was in 2001.
There were 69,600 divorces in Canada in 2004, down 1.7 per cent from the previous year and a 28 per cent decline from 1987.
All of the above states were taken from the Canada.com web site, and include stats from the Vanier Institute. (Some of these stats may seem a bit dated, but recent data is difficult to find as it takes a number of years for this information to be published.)
Here are some interesting statistics about divorce:
Most divorces are initiated by women.
The cost of a typical divorce is anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000.
The odds increase by a factor of 11 that children of divorce will be at risk of falling into low income after separation and divorce.
The above three stats were from a separation and divorce fact sheet prepared by Feldstein Family Law Group.
And you might be interested – or alarmed – to know that research has shown that divorce is contagious. If you have someone in your close circle who is getting divorced, it can increase the odds of you divorcing yourself by 33-75%, depending on how close you are to that person.
Obviously, statistics never tell the whole story (just look at the beginning of this article to be reminded of that!). My point is that you may hear a lot of doom and gloom about the state of marriage or about the rates of divorce, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
What is a real shame, though, is that by some estimates, when couples are unhappy, they wait to seek couple relationship counselling for six years. Six years is a long time to be unhappy. If you’re worried about your marriage becoming a statistic, and you want to enjoy being home again, I offer couple counselling in Oakville, and would be happy to meet to help you get your marriage back on the right track.