Marriage and divorce in America are complicated decisions with many moving parts. Factors that affect these unions and separations include such matters as societal attitudes, economic issues, legal changes and personal beliefs.

The makeup of the U.S. population changes each year. How do these demographic swings alter the landscape of divorce in the nation?

The role of delayed marriage

An article printed by Time.com presents evidence that the divorce rate in the U.S. declined by 18 percent from 2008 to 2016. A University of Maryland professor conducted the analysis. The results showed that younger people divorce at a lower rate than older people, or put another way millennial generation divorces at a reduced rate than Baby Boomers. Part of the reason for this trend has a strong economic facet. While the younger generation marries less frequently, and at a later age than previous generations, younger people who struggle financially engage in marriage at an even lower rate. Later marriages by couples who do well financially generally have lower rates of divorce. Poorer, less educated people are more likely to live together than get married, even if children are present.

The role of society

On the other end of the demographic scale, older Americans divorce at a higher rate than in the past. An article in Kiplinger reveals that the divorce rate for those over 50 doubled over the last 25 years. Many of these divorces involve couples with marriages of 20 years or more. One reason postulated for this higher divorce rate is that couples are less likely now to endure a marriage that is not working as the stigma of divorce in society becomes less powerful.