Illinois Marriage and Divorce Rates from 1958-2009

The divorce rate in Illinois rose from about 1958 to 1979, then began to fall.  By 2009 the divorce was approaching the same rate as in the early 1960s.

The most dramatic change over the past 50 years is the decline in the rate of marriage.  The highest rate of marriage was in 1973.  The rate has steadily declined since then.  The baby boom children were entering their late teens between 1965-1975.  Clearly they were getting married at a high rate.

These numbers were based on reports produced by the Illinois Department of Public Health.  The original report can be found here:

Percentage of Married Men Who Divorce

This figure that is taken from a Census Bureau report that summarizes marriage and divorce patterns in the US illustrates what has been happening over time with the divorce rate.  In this figure you see that the percentage of men who are 30 years old who are divorced has been going down.  Those born between 1960-64 had the highest percentage of divorce and all those born after this time have had a lower rate of divorce.  Those men who were in 1970-1974 are approaching the same rates of divorce as men born in the 1940s.    The pattern is similar for men at ages 35.  We don’t have the data for the men at 40, but the pattern is likely to be the same.