The Trends and Effects of Divorce on the Economy

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This paper is about the affects of divorce on the economy and to enlighten others with the information as well. I selected this specific economic topic because of personal reasons. I am a recent divorcee myself; I was inquisitive and wanted to know how divorce financially affected other people as well. My divorce situation put me through the figurative “ringer” in the long run my finances, credit worthiness, job type all major and minor life decisions were affected by divorce in a negative manner; which affected my economics and in turn my local economy. So due to my situation it made me wonder, “Being that 50% of marriages end in divorce there must be a great deal of an effect that is had on the national economy?” So curiosity and circumstances caused me to choose this topic.

The average American male and female spends the majority of his or her life unmarried, many people wouldn’t disagree with this fact. There are nearly 93 million unmarried Americans over age 18, representing roughly 42% of the adult population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). In 2005, unmarried households became the majority of all U.S. households. Between the mid seventies and the beginning of the nineties the share of non-married individuals grew dramatically in the United States, it increased from 17% to 30% in only twenty years (, 2009). So just imagine what that number is now in 2010. In 2008, 29.4% of men and 22.7% of women ages 18 and over had never married (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). As of 2009, the most common household type in the U.S. is a person living alone. According to 2006 data released from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey shows that the majority (50.3%) of U.S. households are headed by unmarried adults. The number of cohabiting unmarried partners increased by 88% between 1990 and 2007, over 12 million unmarried partners live together in 6,008,007 households (Hobbs, 2005). Is this surprising since 55% of Americans approve of men and women living together without being married and 57% of Americans consider an unmarried couple who have lived together for five years just as committed in their relationship as a married couple who have lived together for the same time (Gallup, 2008). The majority of couples marrying today cohabited first, 50% of different-sex cohabiters do marry within five years of moving in together and 40% break up within that same time period leaving about 10% remaining in an unmarried relationship for five years or more (Kreider, Rose and Fields, 2002). Based on a 2006 Gallup poll 68% of divorced or widowed Americans plan to remain unmarried. I believe and agree with this poll because personally I don’t have strong feelings about getting married again either. Several trends come into play to account for this, including an increasing tendency to delay marriage, growing numbers of adults who never marry, persistently high divorce rates, and a growing number of adults who choose to cohabit but not to marry. Divorce affects individuals voting habits as well. Americans tend to measure their quality of life by their relative economic well-being. Americans impact the economy by voting for their leaders’ economic policies, and by consumer spending habits. The economy is, indeed, the most prevalent issue always on voters’ minds, because American voters usually vote with their pocketbook, so the importance on the economic leadership shown by candidates is a deal breaker. For example, Americans want the federal budget surpluses that Bill Clinton's gave during his term instead of the massive federal deficit under President George W. Bush's administration. In 2004, more than 55 million married Americans were registered to vote and among them, nearly 47 million actually voted (U.S. Census Bureau, 2004). People these days are worried about their jobs, children's education, being able to pay mortgages, paying off student loans, paying utilities, putting...
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