COUPLES who are married for ten years are no more likely to be
divorced than they would have been 40 years ago, a new report
What is the divorce rate? was published last week by
the Marriage Foundation, which was launched last year by Sir Paul
Coleridge, a High Court judge (
News, 4 May;
Interview, 20 July). The report examined the divorce rate
during the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.
It said: "After surviving the first decade, couples face
near-enough identical risk of divorce, regardless of whether they
married in the 1960s, 70, 80s or 90s."
The author of the report, Harry Benson, said: "All the change in
divorce rates since the 1960s have occurred during the first ten
years of marriage."
The report recommended that measures to strengthen marriage
"must focus on the first ten years . . . the period with both
highest divorce rates and greatest variation."
The Office for National Statistics reported last month that, in
2011, 47 per cent (21 million) of the adult population of England
and Wales was married. In 2001: 51 per cent.