144 years of marriage and divorce in America

We’ve all heard that Americans are less inclined to get married nowadays.

But how do today’s rates compare to those over the last 150 or so years?

Randy Olson, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, dug through the data and put together a chart showing the per capita marriage and divorce rates in the US over the last 144 years.

It’s pretty interesting to look at the marriage rates with respect to what was going on in the country at the time. More concretely, marriage rates spiked around both World Wars, but dipped dramatically during the Great Depression.

As for the more recent history, “there has been a steady decline in marriage rates (and consequently divorce rates) since the 1980s, with no sign of slowing down. In fact, when taking population into account, marriage rates in the US are now at the lowest they have ever been in recorded US history — even lower than during the Great Depression,” writes Olson.

Check out the full chart below:

Check out the full report here.

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