If recent studies are any indication, the baby boomer generation may be reverting back to the “free love” mindset of the 1960s and 1970s. Research reveals that couples over the age of 50 are now divorcing at a higher rate than ever before.
Data analyzed by sociologists at Bowling Green State University proves that the divorce rate for couples in the 50+ age range has more than doubled since 1990. At that time, about one out of every 10 people over 50 had gone through at least one divorce, while one of out every four people in that demographic are divorced nowadays.
The analysis performed by the Bowling Green research team wasn’t able to pinpoint a particular cause for the current “gray divorce” trend, but looking past the data to societal evolution and changing mores can provide insight.
For instance, a change in the way that society views divorce itself is likely a contributing factor. Simply put, the modern perception of divorce is very different from that of a generation ago. In the past, divorce was somewhat stigmatized, and it was seen by many as something immoral or scandalous. In the present, however, divorce is accepted as something that just happens to some couples, and is not generally seen as evidence of a failure or indicative of an unwillingness of the couple to work at their marriage.
In addition, a longer life span has led to more subsequent marriages following the death of a spouse or the ending of a prior relationship. Statistically speaking, subsequent marriages have a much higher chance of ending in divorce, so the proverbial odds are not in favor of older people who have entered into second, third or even fourth marriages.
Regardless of the reason why, the fact remains that the divorce rate for older couples has continued to rise in recent years, even as the rate for younger couples has been holding steady at about 50 percent.
Source: Inquisitr, “Old Age Divorce Records Have Baby Boomers Reworking Their Dating Game,” George Nielsen, May 15, 2014.