According to a new study, the number of thousands of weddings decreased last year, while the marriage rate also declined sharply as thousands of weddings were postponed or canceled.
An early look at the impact of Kovid-19 on US divorce and marriage data comes from Bowling Green State University’s Center for Family and Demographic Research, which analyzed five states that have released monthly numbers for the past year.
The data contradicted initial estimates that divorce rates would increase due to Kovid-19 and quarantine stresses.
In Florida, the largest state analyzed, marriage numbers were 33% lower from March to September than researchers would have expected based on previous years’ trends. Divorce in the Sunshine State fell by 28%.
If the trends in Florida and other states – Arizona, New Hampshire, Missouri, and Oregon – were repeated nationwide, the US had a “shortage” of 339,917 marriages and 191,053 divorces, according to Wendy Manning and Christa of Bowling Green. Payne. In 2019, there were approximately 2.2 million marriages in the US and about 1 million divorces.
The sharp decline in divorce does not mean that the couple are happy together in lockdown. Instead, the epidemic may force disgruntled spouses to live together for practical reasons.
A sociology professor at the Center for Family and Demographic Research, Manning said, “Divorce can be costly in the face of economic uncertainty and / or health problems.” “These people can feel ‘stuck’ and they can delay the divorce until life seems more normal.”
Both divorce and marriage rates have been declining over the years, as Americans have changed how they approach the institution of marriage. Youngsters have been waiting a long time to tie the knot, and many couples prefer to stay together without being forced into a full-blown wedding. Those who marry are better educated and more affluent, a self-selected group who also like to live together.
The US divorce rate in 2019 was 15.5 per 1,000 married women, according to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, below its peak of 22.6 in 1980.
A lack of weddings and divorces occurring in March and April of 2020 was probably unavoidable. Government offices were closed and Americans were being asked to stay home. However, data in summer and autumn do not show a large rebound – when states are mostly reopened – reflecting larger demand from spring.
One exception is Arizona, where divorce numbers bounced back in the summer to bring the state slightly above expected levels. Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, data from March through November show a 10.1% drop in marriage and a 36% drop in divorce.
In the first half of 2020, there were signs of an imminent spike in divorce, reports of an increase in filings in China as it came out of quarantine, and domestic violence arrests escalated into disturbances and calls to police while the US city marched Under orders to stay at home. But Manning said surveys conducted at the Bowling Green show that most couples report very little change in the amount of conflict in their marriages.
Even though the couple, “for a lot of people, it’s not practical right now,” said Linda Revdin, an attorney for Pastrnak & Fidis in Bethesda, Maryland. Although couples with relatively simple divorces have been able to reach deals, she said, Kovid-19 makes other negotiations difficult. Child custody decisions are difficult when schools and daycare centers are closed. Financial settlements are complicated when spouses are out of work or uncertain of what the economy holds for their jobs or occupations.
“People are not ready to make big decisions,” Rawdin said. “People, to their credit – are trying to do the right thing by their children, feeling by themselves that we are all together in this Vedic manner.”
For weddings in the US, an important question is whether the weddings to be closed in 2020 will ultimately be carried forward. If not a significant number, Kovid-19 could have a lasting impact on a generation that was already cautious about tying the knot. In 2019, Bowling Green figures show that about a third of the rate peaks in the early and mid-20th century were just 30.5 marriages per 1,000 unmarried American women.
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