Abstract

The significance of recent changes in marriage and divorce in the United States is examined from a cohort perspective. Marital status life tables, following birth cohorts through life and through the statuses of Never Married, Presently Married, Widowed, and Divorced provide a detailed description of the experience of male and female cohorts born 1888–1950. Recent cohorts show a clear reversal of previous trends toward earlier and more universal marriage. There has been a steady rise in divorce, with 46 percent of male and 42 percent of female marriages expected to end in divorce for the cohort born in 1950.

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