Divorce rates down in U.S and Nevada

Reno, NEV (KOLO) It’s a major event in someone’s life—getting married. And the numbers most widely thrown around about marriage... that one in two end in divorce... no longer stand.

"Depends upon how you calculate those statistics. It is complicated and that particular claim was never exactly valid. But the percentage of people getting divorced has definitely been going down steadily," says UNR sociology professor Marta Elliott.

Elliott says the divorce rate in this country has made a steady decline over the past two decades. In the U.S. in 2014, the rate was 3.2 per 1000. Back in 2000 it was 4.0 per thousand. In Nevada, in 2014, the rate was 5.3. In 2009 9.9, in 1990 11.4. Despite the decline, Nevada still stands at third highest in the country for divorce.

The decline, Elliott says, is attributed to a couple of factors. One: We are more educated.

"Education tends to protect against divorce. So the divorce rate is lower among more educated people with a college degree or more. And the divorce rate may be going down because the percentage of people with a higher education is going up," says Elliott

Elliott says another reason for the lower divorce rate is millennials.

They are waiting to get married, perhaps in part, Elliott says, because of what this age group experienced when growing up.

"We don't know all the reasons why but it is interesting that may be their parents were divorced," says the UNR professor.

Pregnancy, too, she says, for a single woman no longer has the stigma it once had. Women are having children without marriage, which has n turn brought the divorce rate down.

While the divorce rate is down for couples, the implications of that on children, families, and close friends is a discussion left for another time.