The well known myth that the number of people divorcing has been on a steady rise since the 1970s has been dispelled by the US Census Bureau, according to CNN. Changing attitudes towards marriage and the lower number of people choosing to marry at any time in their life are thought to have combined to see divorce rates plateau from 1980 to 1996. Since the mid 1990s the number of divorces is thought to have fallen by around 5 percentage points across the board within the US.
Divorce is now not as common in terms of percentages for those who choose to marry, with the need for both partners to work and contribute to the wealth and success of a relationship thought to be a major reason for the change. In the 1950s, the divorce rate was low as a stigma was attached to the act and less women were financially able to support themselves. This was a major reason why so many stayed together, at least in the eyes of Susan McGalla. The rise in the number of women working in the 1970s led to a higher divorce rate, which the US Census Bureau reports reached a peak around 1980. Since 1996 the number of divorces has fallen as more and more couples wait to get married until a later age, around one third of 25 to 29 year olds have never married in 2014 and is thought to have contributed to the number of marriages ending in divorce.