Millennials Are Ruining The Divorce Industry

Millennials are constantly accused of “killing” once-thriving industries. Everything from casual chain dining to napkins, bar soap, cereal, diamonds, and fabric softener have supposedly fallen casualty to the generation that largely came of age in the aughts. Although honestly, you can point to any number of things over the decades that have fallen to the wayside as societal norms change and evolve.

While many of these changes can be painted as a negative, a recent study found that millennials are also apparently responsible for a decline in divorce rates.

The analysis, conducted by Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, found an 18 percent drop in divorce rates from 2008 to 2016. There are a number of reasons for this drop, but the data reveals that younger generations are generally approaching relationships and marriage differently than their parents and grandparents.

Whereas Baby Boomers, for instance, had the tendency to get married young, then had children, divorced, remarried, and so on—millennials (and Generation X, to a lesser degree) are pickier about who they settle down with. Not to mention, millennials are waiting until they’re older and more financially secure to tie the knot, after getting their education and careers are on track

Though the overall marriage rate has also fallen over the last several decades, Cohen’s study calculated the divorce rate as a ratio of divorces to the total number of married women. In other words, the decreased millennial divorce rate isn’t a reflection of a decline in marriages but instead proves that marriages today have a greater chance of lasting than in previous decades.

“One of the reasons for the decline is that the married population is getting older and more highly educated,” noted Cohen. “Fewer people are getting married, and those who do are the sort of people who are least likely to get divorced. Marriage is more and more an achievement of status, rather than something that people do regardless of how they’re doing.”

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