The life status table, an analytical model which follows a birth cohort through life and through the never-married, presently married, widowed and divorced statuses, is developed and applied to data from four Western populations. Particular attention is given to recent marriage, remarriage, and divorce trends in California. California data for 1969 imply that 40 percent of all marriages will end in divorce, that each marrying male will marry an average of 12/3 times, and that every woman born can expect to spend 61/2 years in the divorced state. Rising divorce rates may be seen as signaling fundamental changes in both the nature of the American family and the structure of American society.

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