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Marriage and divorce-related stats nationally and for Florida

When examining marriage and divorce rates both presently and historically in the United States, Florida is a useful barometer. Although some of the statistics most germane to the subject area reveal the state as being at slight variance from national averages, the figures are both noteworthy and somewhat close to the norm.

An initial point to note is that the marriage rate throughout the country, including in Florida, has been steadily dropping for many years. In the early decades of the last century, the rate held fairly steady, peaking in 1940 with 12.1 marriages per every 1,000 residents. At that time, the rate was actually appreciably higher than that in Florida, with slightly more than 17 marriages for every 1,000 residents.

Since then, though, the rate has dropped considerably, evidencing the fact that simply fewer people across the country are choosing to get married. In 2009, there were 6.8 marriages for every 1,000 people nationally. Statistics compiled by the Florida Department of Health indicate a figure of 7.3 for Florida, which state officials say is the lowest ever recorded.

On the flip side of those numbers are statistics related to divorce, which have steadily gone up as marriage-related numbers have gone down. In 1930, the divorce rate was 1.6 nationally and 2.5 in Florida per 1,000 residents. In 2009, those numbers had increased to 3.4 and 4.2, respectively.

Divorce rates in Florida and nationally have eased somewhat in recent years, both nationally and in Florida. An emerging trend is clear, though, namely that, notwithstanding what the divorce rate is, it is the less dramatic element in any comparison of marriage and divorce. The bottom line is that simply fewer people are getting married.

Source: The Ledger, "Statistics show the sinking realities for marriage," Gary White, Aug. 19, 2012

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