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Employment, education affect divorce rates

Do half of all marriages actually end in divorce? The idea that 50 percent of marriages are doomed to fail is a popular myth circulated throughout the Internet and popular media in Oregon, but one researcher doubts that the divorce rate is actually that high. When breaking down divorce rates by gender and other factors, none of the percentages even passed a 45 percent divorce rate.

The data used for the study was taken from 2014 and focused on individuals who were at least 20 years old and who had either been divorced at least once or remarried. This information was further examined through gender, education levels, employment status and race. The researcher was especially surprised by what he said was a significant difference in the rates of men and women.

At the age of 70, 31 percent of men who were employed had been either divorced or had remarried, compared with 37 percent of women the same age who were also employed. Conversely, unemployed women and men of the same age both had a divorce rate of about 40 percent. When education was also considered, 80-year-olds with at least a bachelor's degree had lower divorce and remarry rates, averaging around 25 to 29 percent. Those in the same age group who only had up to a high school diploma divorced and remarried at a rate of 37 percent for men and 35 percent for women.

Researching marriage and divorce rates is important for understanding how societies function. The lead researcher on this project has undertaken other projects looking into those who never get married and the ages at which people first marry. Still, no matter the statistics or divorce rates for a certain age or employment group, the decision to end a marriage is deeply personal, and one that most people in Oregon do not make lightly.

Source: oregonlive.com, "How do work, education and race affect divorce rates? Data sheds light on trends", Laura Frazier, April 5, 2016

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