144 years of marriage and divorce in 1 chart

Randal S. Olson, a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania focusing on artificial intelligence, posted a chart that reflects marriage and divorce rates over the past 144 years in one chart.  It is revealing.  The post begins as follows:

I’ve always been curious about the history of marriage and divorce in the United States. We often hear about how divorce rates are in flux, or how marriage rates are declining, but we’re rarely given a real sense of the long-term trends in marriage and divorce. Since I couldn’t find a chart showing the long-term marriage and divorce trends in the U.S., I decided to crawl through the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) database and collect the data myself.

If you’re not familiar with the NCHS, they publish monthly reports on vital statistics about Americans such as birth rates, death rates, causes of death, and — you guessed it — marriage and divorce rates. Most of the historical data is hidden away in PDFs of these monthly reports, so I had the pleasure of scraping data from scans of dozens of CDC reports that were published 30 years before I was even born. I’ll save you the laborious effort of repeating my scraping efforts by sharing the data set here.

See the chart and full post at: 144 years of marriage and divorce in 1 chart | Randal S. Olson

See additional coverage in the Washington Post.

Posted by Lewis J. Saret, Co-General Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.

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