America's Divorce Rate Is Plummetting Thanks To Millennials

Young people's marriages are more stable and lasting longer.

The divorce rate in America is plummeting and research suggests one generation is to thank: millennials.

A University of Maryland sociology professors has released data that the U.S. divorce rate has dropped 18 percent between 2008 and 2016. Many factors are playing into a lower divorce rate — including an aging population — but researchers are pointing to younger Americans' decisions about who they marry as the major, driving force.

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"The change among young people is particularly striking," Susan Brown, a sociology professor at Bowling Green State University, told Bloomberg. "The characteristics of young married couples today signal a sustained decline [in divorce rates] in the coming years."

The younger Americans are getting married at an older age, with higher education levels and more stable financial situations. Younger parents are also deciding to tie the knot less frequently. Sociologists say fewer people getting married could be a sign of increased inequality, but the result is that fewer divorces and remarriages. Between 1990 and 2015, divorce rates as much as doubled for people between the age of 55 and 64, all while the overall divorce rate plummeted. That's because of how picky and stable many millennial marriages are becoming. 

"One of the reasons for the decline is that the married population is getting older and more highly educated," Philip Cohen, the Maryland professor behind the research, told Bloomberg. "Marriage is more and more an achievement of status, rather than something that people do regardless of how they're doing."

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