Do you think that making it to 50 years old and still being married means you’ve likely found a marriage that is going to last a lifetime? Maybe you assume that divorce is just for relatively young couples who perhaps shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place. As you near retirement age, you just assume it’s never going to end.
While that may be true for some people, the statistics paint a different picture. Since the 1990s, did you know that adults who are 50 years old and older have seen their divorce rate double? The increase was even higher for those who are 65 years old and older — the typical retirement age — as their divorce rate has tripled.
Now, it’s worth noting that these rates used to be very low, so even doubling or tripling, to some degree, just shows how uncommon these divorces used to be. For instance, in 2015, six people out of every 1,000 over the age of 65 were divorced. Since it’s tripled since 1990, that means only two out of every 1,000 married people split up back then.
For those who are 50 years old and up, just five out of every 1,000 married people got divorced in 1990. In 2015, that number had doubled to 10.
Divorce is still more common for younger people, even though it’s falling. For those between 25 and 39, the rate was 30 out of 1,000 in 1990, but it fell to 24 out of 1,000 in 2015. It is dropping while the rates for elderly people are climbing, but it’s still far higher in that younger age group.
What this shows is that divorce can strike at any age. Make sure you always know your legal options.
Source: Pew Research Center, “Led by Baby Boomers, divorce rates climb for America’s 50 population,” Renee Stepler, accessed March 21, 2018