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Curr Popul Rep Popul Charact. 1992 Oct;(180):i-1-21.

Marriage, divorce, and remarriage in the 1990's.



Recent trends in marriage, divorce and redivorce, and remarriage were gleaned from cohort data from the US Supplement to the Current Population Survey, 1990, on the frequency of women entering and exiting a verity of marital statuses. Marriage patterns are described also in terms of their interrelationship with educational attainment, fertility history, age, race and Hispanic origin, age at marital event, and duration in marital status. the effects of marriage patterns on children are also considered. Future trends are anticipated along with their impact on families. The trend has been toward a significant number of adults and children living in one-parent families. This situation is also usually one of poverty and social deprivation. The time spent by children in one-parent families is estimated at almost 50%. There are 14 detailed tables to supplement the text. The appended tables and discussion provide background information on the accuracy of estimates. The increasing trend of divorce has meant that between the 1960s and 1980 the divorce rate doubled and reached the point where 1 out of 2 marriages was expected to end in divorce. During the 1980s, the rate remained the same, and first marriage and remarriage declined. Declines may be due to delay in marriage or to more people never marrying. Between 1975 and 1990, the percent of women ever married declined for all age groups; for women 20-24 years old the decline was from 63 to 38%. Marriage patterns were different for Blacks and Whites, but both experienced declines in first marriage. Black women will marry later than White women and will include a greater proportion who will never marry. Hispanic patterns were similar those of Whites. The slight drop in the percent divorcing after a first marriage between 1985 and 1990 showed less divorce for the younger age groups and more for the older age groups. 4 of 10 marriages involve a second or higher order marriage for 1 or both partners. The percent remarrying among the older cohort declined from 74% in 1975 to 63% in 1990. Remarriage was higher for White women than for Black or Hispanic women. In 1990, redivorce was 5% of all ever married women and 29% of all women remarried. Children have had to adjust to "increasingly varied and complex living arrangements." Future prospects are for women continuing to marry at a later age, never marrying, never marrying but becoming mothers, attaining higher education, and achieving a greater labor force participation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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