Fifty Percent of Marriages End in Divorce. Really?

I love Myth Buster Monday over on United Families International.  This week, in honor of Valentine's Day, they debunked the loosely dropped statistic that "fifty percent of marriages end in divorce".  Turns out that's not an entirely accurate statement.  Here's what UFI had to say…

"“Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce” is such a widely touted statistic that it has become a part of our national mindset.  This mindset has lead to great pessimism and even fear for those who might be considering marriage and offers an excuse for divorce to those who have a marriage that is struggling – after all “everyone is getting divorced.”  But is the statistic accurate?"

You see, it totally depends upon which marriages you're talking about.  So to those in particular, who love to use this statistic to debate the merits of traditional marriage, I say it's about time we get the facts straight! 

The facts are, that fifty percent of ALL marriages do end in divorce -- BUT, more than 70 percent of all first marriages succeed! 

When I look around to my married friends that I've known for years,  the majority of them are still married.  I've always wondered about that statistic?  I thought this might be because, like myself,  most of my married friends are members of the LDS Church -- and we all know that divorce is not as rampant in the Church, right?  Anyway, this statistic never seemed accurate; at least not from my limited view.

Which leads us to the question of WHERE did the 50 percent number come from? Here's how…

"Those who marry, divorce, re-marry, divorce, and re-marry and divorce are dragging the overall average down to 50 percent.

Although a first-marriage divorce rate that hovers around 28 percent is far from ideal, that number tells a different story about marriage than the continual drum beat about divorce being such an inevitable part of marriage.  The vast majority of marriages can and DO succeed!" UFI

Apparently those who struggle with one marriage tend to struggle with other attempts, which then affects the success of the entire picture of marriage.  Doesn't seem fair, does it?  So, the next time you find yourself debating the merits of marriage and the importance of preserving traditional marriage, you've now got the corrected facts!

A few more studies that should make you smile about the future of marriage:
  • Married people report the highest levels of well-being.
  • Married people tend to be happier than people who are not married.
  • Two-thirds of unhappily  married spouses who decide to stick with their marriage report that their marriage improved within five years.

Happy Valentine's Day!

You can read more here:
Myth Buster Monday: “Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce.”
Myth Buster Monday:  Same-Sex Relationships and Marriage Equal to Heterosexual Marriages and Relationships


  1. Not only that, but the divorce rate has in fact been declining since the 80's, and the Federal government stopped tracking the divorce rate in the 90's, so for all that we know, the rate could actually be below 40%!

    1. Yeah divorce rate is declining because more people are choosing not to get married, so that means a decline in divorces.

  2. That's great news! Thanks for the update!