Older Americans: Is divorce OK?

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Older Americans

Car with a Just Divorced sign on the windowDivorce rates have been climbing for decades, but lately there’s been a slowdown in divorces. More couples are likely to reach their 10th wedding anniversary than they used to, according to the U.S. Census. At the same time, attitudes about the moral acceptability of divorce are changing.

What do older Americans feel about the acceptability of marital dissolutions?

Almost seven of ten Americans (69%) ages 55 and older now say that divorce is morally OK, according to a just-released Gallup study. This puts older Americans on par with younger Americans. Sixty-eight percent Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 agree with older Americans, and 66% of middle aged Americans (ages 35-54) also say that divorce is morally acceptable.

The big news, once again, is that older Americans are driving changing attitudes. While other Americans’ attitudes about divorce have not changed much over the past decade, older Americans’ attitudes have changed dramatically during the same time span. Only 48% of older Americans in 2001 said divorce was acceptable. This figure increased by 21 points by 2013.

Do you believe that divorce is morally acceptable?

Are you surprised to learn that older Americans have changed their minds about the acceptability of divorce?

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