If you have heard it once, you have heard it a thousand times. “Half of all marriages end in divorce.” The idea has been repeated so many times over the last several decades that it is come common “knowledge.” The main problem is that it simply is not true. In addition, many experts believe that it never really was.
Oversimplifying Complex Numbers
It is difficult to know for sure exactly when and where the 50 percent myth originated but many sociologists point to the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) managed by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2000 and 2001, for instance, the NVSS compiled data that found that there were 8.2 marriages per 1,000 people in the United States to be 8.2 marriages. During the same two years, the NVSS reported 4.0 divorces per 1,000 people. A quick estimate confirmed that the divorce rate was half of the marriage rate, so the half of all marriages must end in divorce, right? Well, not exactly.