Divorce rate not 50%
Let me say it straightforwardly: Fifty percent of American marriages are not ending in divorce. It's fiction. A myth. A tragically discouraging urban legend.
Link: Is it Really 50%?
ROUS  Annette Collins, Thursday, 8-10-06 6:48 PM
re: Divorce rate not 50%
I happened to read one of the article Annette's story linked to. It proposes a different order to the typical right-after-the-wedding events.
Link: http://family.org/married/youngcouples/a0019164.cf
David, Friday, 8-11-06 12:38 AM
re: Divorce rate not 50%
The estimates I've seen on divorce are closer to 40% than 50%. Unfortunately they're not collected in the fashion that I'd find most useful.
For instance, the 50% number comes from an estimate of the marriage rate at 7.5/ 1000 population per year and an estimate of the divorce rate at 3.8/1000 population per year. A little number crunching reveals that although 3.8 is about half of 7.5, it doesn't translate to a 50% divorce rate.

What you need in order to infer what fraction of marriages are working in your society is a snapshot of these numbers:
For each person presently living in your society over the minimum marriage age, take the sum of all marriages they are presently in, or have been a party to and call that 'M'. Take the total number of divorces that that person has been a party to and call it 'D'.
When you've summed up M and D for the entire population, your fraction of successful marriages is then (M-D)/M since every divorce requires a marriage to precede it. Conversely, your fraction of marriages that end in divorce would be D/M.

For active members of City's edge, a back of the envelope calculation gives about 76.5% successful marriages (or a 23.5% divorce rate if that's the metric you're more interested in). For my own family, those numbers are about 72.2% and 27.8% respectively.

Of course you get several problems using this metric. For instance, a small fraction of the population with multiple divorces can distort the picture in the negative direction. Similarly, a fraction of the population living in sin, and simply 'breaking up' doesn't register either as a marriage or a divorce. You've also got to decide whether & how to count multiple marriages/divorces to the same person and how death of a spouse & subsequent remarriage gets added in (for instance, my grandmother, with 2 marriages and 0 divorces inflates the statistics in the positive direction, whereas my mother, with 2 divorces---both with my dad, and 3 marriages---2 with my dad, one with my stepdad, warps them in the other direction).

David C, Friday, 8-11-06 10:22 AM
re: Divorce rate not 50%
gee, i didn't really care that much. divorce stinks, period.
ben, Friday, 8-11-06 2:03 PM
re: Divorce rate not 50%
Dave, I read the article that you posted about the Jewish tradition. I think it makes a lot of sense, actually. Marriage is a societal building institution so it makes sense for the cermony and vacation that kick it off to happen within a broader community. Is that strange? I don't know if I would ever actually do it, but I think it is an idea worth weighing.
Katy, Wednesday, 9-27-06 6:51 AM
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