The divorce rate, now known as the frequency of “conscious uncoupling” is higher than previously imagined, especially among older people. It’s lower than it has been among younger people, but that doesn’t mean that families are more stable, because cohabitation rates are so high and cohabiting couples are less likely to last.
While divorce is dropping among the young, especially people in the their 20s, it’s skyrocketing among the older folk. “The Baby Boom generation was responsible for the extraordinary rise in marital instability after 1970. They are now middle-aged, but their pattern of high marital instability continues. There has been a threefold increase in the divorce rate of people aged between 60 and 65 since 1990,” says Steve Ruggles, a professor of history at the University of Minnesota and the director of the Minnesota Population Center in his paper Breaking Up is Hard to Count. “And for those older than 65, the increase is fivefold.”
Divorces are rising worldwide. China is facing a boom in breakups. Almost 10,000 marriages end in divorce every day, a figure that has been growing for the past decade, according to a report China Daily. Likewise, figures released last week by the Turkish Statistical Institute found there has been a 1.6 per cent jump in the number of marriage splits in 2013. The number of divorces in Malaysia has more than doubled in just eight years from 2004. In 2012, a whopping 56,760 divorces were recorded, which is equivalent to a marriage breaking down every 10 minutes.