75 Years of Change in American Families– 1910 – 1990

A good description of the changes in American families from 1910- 1990.

For example, see this figure for how fertility has changed over the 20th century.  The number of children per family declines until after WWII, then increases dramatically until it reaches 3.7 children per woman (family) in the late 1950s, (higher than in the 1920s), then declines again in the earlier 1970s to less than 2 children per woman (family).

Changes in Number of Children in US families 1920-1988

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Historical Marriage & Divorce Data for the United States 1867-1967

This document summarizes the long-term trends in marriage and divorce in the Untied States between 1867-1967.  Much of this can be found elsewhere, but there are some fun bits of historical trivia that show how marriage and divorce have changed and not changed over this historical period.  Here are a couple of sample tables.  Marriage Rates in US for 20th century

Wedding day of the week US 1960

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Updated Illinois Divorce Rates 1958-2011

This figure shows the trends in marriage & divorce in Illinois from 1958-2011.  On average in recent years (2000-2011) the rates of both marriage and divorce have leveled off, neither increasing or decreasing very much.  Over the entire period of time, there are lower rates of marriage and divorce.  Link to original data source.

Illinois Divorce & Marriage Rates 1958-2011

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Divorce Rate Trends in OECD Countries 1970-2008

Eurostat periodically issues some nice charts and explanations of marriage and divorce trends in the OECD countries.  Here is a sample of their work.  Complete report on these trends.    The report states,

“The crude divorce rates and their changes from 1970 to 2008 are presented in Chart SF3.1.E. During this period, divorce rates increased in most countries, except for Estonia and Latvia where divorce rates were high in 1970 (the increase in divorce rates in the United States from a similar base was also very small). There were large cross-national differences in crude divorce rates in 2008, and ranged from a low of less than one divorce per 1000 inhabitants in Chile and Mexico, to over 3 per 1000 inhabitants in Belgium and the United States.”

OECD divorce rates change 1970-2008

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New Report on State Laws About Shared Parenting

A national organization of parents who support “shared parenting” after divorce have issued a new report that rates states regarding their state law on this issue.  This map shows their rankings, see the report.  Shared Parenting Rating by National Parents Organization

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Insurance-dependent Women Have Lower Divorce Rates– Good or Bad News?

In a just released study by Heeju Sohn at the University of Pennsylvania, she found that women who were dependent on their spouses for insurance coverage had lower rates of divorce.  This finding does not mean that these women are “protected” from divorce, but rather suggests that these women are likely to have fewer options and therefore may be remain in relationships for financial reasons.  These findings are a reminder that divorce decisions are not merely about marital satisfaction, but also about all aspects of family life.


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Leaving Abusive Relationships–Complications.

A frequent question about intimate partner violence (domestic violence) is why don’t women leave.  In this short video, Professor Lyndal Khaw discusses the challenges faced by women in making the decision to leave.   Here is the complete article.

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