According to the Pew Research Center’s analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015
American Community Survey, the divorce rates for adults 50 and older have doubled since 1990. During that same time period, the same data suggests that divorce rates for couples in their 40s saw a slight increase, while the rates for couples 40 and younger have declined. The analysis further noted,
In 2015, 21 adults ages 40 to 49 divorced per 1,000 married persons in that age range –
up slightly from 18 in 1990. By contrast, the divorce rate for adults ages 25 to 39 has fallen from 30 persons per 1,000 married persons in 1990 to 24 in 2015. This decline is attributed at least in part to younger generations putting off marriage until later ages. The median age at first marriage for men in 2016 was 29.5, and for women it was 27.4 – up from 26.1 and 23.9, respectively, in 1990. In addition, those who do end up marrying are more likely to be college-educated, and research shows that college-educated adults have a lower rate of divorce.
The Pew Report proposed several reasons for the rising divorce rates among older couples. The primary reason was that Baby Boomers experienced “unprecedented levels of divorce” leading to many remarriages. Nearly half of those surveyed had been married at least twice, which significantly increases their chances of divorce.