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Divorce rates decreasing for Kiwis

With the lowest marriage rates in New Zealand for more than a decade, it was about time we had some good news.


WITH the lowest marriage rates in New Zealand for more than a decade, it was about time we had some good news. That news is that maybe romance isn’t dead, as divorce rates dropped in the same period. Falling from 8,874 to 8,551 between 2010 and 2011, it’s not all bad news.

Divorce rates have been fluctuating, but going down, since the peak of more than 12,000 in 1982. But, it seems that a quick divorce isn’t the answer any longer. Previously, 25% of marriages didn’t last longer than nine years with less than 8% lasting more than 30 years.

Just five years ago, in 2007, there were 11.3 divorces for every 1,000 married couples. That meant that Kiwis saw just under 10,000 (9,600) marriage dissolutions in that year. As we moved into 2008, there were 9,700 divorces with nearly 22,000 marriages.

It wasn’t until the following year, 2009, that the rate dropped notably. Down by a thousand, 10.2 divorces per 1,000 marriages was the number as 8,700 marriages were ended. The year leading to December 2010 saw marriage rates drop to a historic low but it wasn’t until 2011 that we saw both fewer divorces and marriages.

The rate of divorce dropped to 9.8 per 1,000 but that coincided with the news that 35% of 1986 had been finished before the 25-year mark.

According to reports, warm weather brings on the wedding bells but reports suggest that a lower divorce rate might not necessarily mean that Kiwis are having happier marriages. It was argued that the drop in marriages at the same time of divorce shows that people are waiting longer to tie the not.

In fact, back in 2010, a relationship service said they had seen a significant increase in the use of their service. The reason for this? People now see getting married as a huge commitment and a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

The bigger picture

These statistics are obviously focused on Kiwis but how do we fare compared to the rest of the world? Top of the list across all countries is Russia with a huge divorce figure of 5.3% which is believed to be due to the disintegration of culture and social structure.

Elsewhere, the USA makes the list with eastern European countries Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova taking spots five, six and seven respectively. With divorces on a steady decrease, it can only be good news and there is no reason to be concerned when looking at the bigger picture.