Prior analysis of divorce rates may not have been reliable

For years, the U.S. Census data suggested that the divorce rate peaked at some point in 1970s and had been slowly declining since that time period. However, a recent report from the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota challenges the deeply rooted findings. In fact, the 2014 report suggests that the divorce rate may have been climbing for the past three decades.

According to researchers linked with the study, the quality of the data that had been used to make the assertion that the divorce rate had peaked had serious flaws, which may have distorted the perceived rate of divorce in America. However, researchers note that federal data is improving.

For example, the U.S. Census Bureau added specific inquiries related to divorce in 2008 to the American Community Survey, which collects data each year from national respondents. It is now considered to be the best scientific analysis of the country's population. Since this strategy has been implemented, the data is providing a more accurate picture of the current divorce rate.

The report from the Minnesota Population Center also looks at patterns of divorce among different age groups. For example, for many years, data suggested that the divorce rate was higher for younger couples and lower for older couples. However, a closer examination of new data suggests that people in their 50s and 60s are divorcing at a much higher rate than prior decades.

So, what is does this new report mean?

First, there are new and more accurate ways of collecting divorce data, which may shift our overall understanding of the divorce rate. Moving forward, it will be crucial for scholars to rely on the data in the American Community Survey, which appears to be helpful and reliable - for now. Second, the concept of marriage is constantly shifting, and at this time, divorce rates appear have been going up - especially among older couples.

Regardless of your age or understanding of divorce, marital stability can be a difficult thing. If you think that you have reached the end of marital bliss, you may want to speak with an attorney about your options. In the end, numbers are just numbers, and your personal marriage is far removed from statistics or data. What is most important is learning how to move on gracefully in the future. There are many legal and financial issues to deal with, so legal support is helpful.