The once-every-10-years Census is scheduled for 2020, but the U.S. Census Bureau does not just sit around the rest of the time. It frequently conducts smaller-scale surveys to learn more about Americans, their changing demographics, and lives. One statistic from a recent Census survey caught our eye: the U.S. divorce rate has dropped by quite a bit since 2008 – especially here in Pennsylvania.
The divorce numbers
Nationwide, the Census reports that in 2008, there were 10.5 divorces per 1,000 women. A decade later, in 2018, there were just 7.7 divorces per 1,000 women.
Meanwhile, the divorce rate among Pennsylvanian women went from eight divorces per 1,000 to 6.5 per 1,000 females over that period.
What is happening?
There could be several explanations for this nationwide and statewide trend. Locally, one reason the divorce rate has gotten so low is likely that the marriage rate is below the national average. The Census reports that the 2018 marriage rate nationwide was 16.6 per 1,000, compared with 14.7 in Pennsylvania. Obviously, as fewer couples get married, there are fewer couples to get divorced. Instead, it is likely that more couples are choosing to cohabitate and live their lives together without getting married.
Despite this trend, divorce is still necessary for thousands of couples in Pennsylvania. If you are among those facing the dissolution of their marriage, there are a lot of important things you need to figure out. How will the marital property be divided up? Will you share child custody, or will the kids spend most of their time with one parent and visitation time with the other? Will one of you need spousal support? Your divorce lawyer will help you sort out your priorities and develop a successful strategy.