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618: Divorce

What experience(s) have you had with divorce?


Full episode script

It’s a fairly commonly stated piece of “conventional wisdom” that in the United States, 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. You can take that particular piece of quote-unquote common knowledge with whatever moral panic you think it deserves, or more likely doesn’t deserve. Either way, it’s important to note that this so-called statistic is rather incorrect, at least, depending on how you want to measure divorce.

 

Here’s the thing about this particular statistic – there’s a lot of ways to slice the numbers. For example, there’s the crude divorce rate, which is the pure number of divorces per 1,000 people in the population, including everyone. There’s also the crude percentage, which is the number of divorces per 1,000 compared to the number of marriages per 1,000. Both of these numbers, though, take a look at the number of marriages and divorces in a particular year, and not at the average length of a marriage.

 

In the USA, the crude divorce percentage reported in 2014 was 46 percent. That’s far from the highest rate in the world, though. The Maldives currently holds the world record for the highest divorce rate, with 11 divorces per 1,000 people. As Ozy put it:

“According to the U.N., the average 30-year-old Maldivian woman has been divorced. Not once. Not twice. But three times. Three divorces before the age of 30 — and that’s just the average. “

 

If you’ve experienced divorce as a married individual or not, there’s plenty of debate over the impact divorce may have on the rest of the family. One article in Scientific American argued that while divorce does have a stressful short-term impact on children, in the long term, as long as parents work on ensuring that they maintain focus on being healthy individuals who are focused on parenting well, most children bounce back without too many battle scars.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.