Divorce Rates Climb for America’s 50+ Population

While divorce is less common for younger adults, so-called “gray divorce” is on the rise among U.S. adults aged 50 and older, with the divorce rate doubling since the 1990s, according to new article published by the Pew Research Center, titled Led by Baby Boomers, divorce rates climb for America’s 50+ population.

Analyst Renee Stepler wrote that among all adults 50 and older who divorced in the past year, about a third (34%) had been in their prior marriage for at least 30 years, including about one-in-ten (12%) who had been married for 40 years or more. Research indicates that many later-life divorcees have grown unsatisfied with marriage and are seeking opportunities to pursue their own interests and independence for the remaining years of their lives.

But divorce at this stage of life can also have some downsides, added Stepler. Gray divorcees tend to be less financially secure than married and widowed adults, particularly among women. And living alone at older ages can be detrimental to one’s financial comfort and, for men, their satisfaction with their social lives.