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How Has the Divorce Rate Changed over Time?

The divorce rate in the U.S. has dropped by a third since its peak in 1981, when more than five out of every 1,000 couples were getting divorced. The marriage rate has also dropped by almost a third since 1985, and the cohabitation rate has steadily risen.

More facts on divorce:

  • The countries with the highest divorce rates are the U.S., Russia and the United Kingdom. Southeast Asian nations tend to have the lowest divorce rates, particularly Sri Lanka and India.

  • By the age of 30, almost half of the women in the U.S. will have cohabited with someone outside of marriage. Almost 40 percent of extramarital cohabitations don't last more than five years, which is slightly more than the rate of early divorces in first marriages.

  • In the U.S., almost 70 percent of those who are divorced or widowed say they do not plan to remarry.

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