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Joined: 21 May 2009
Joined: 27 October 2008
|Percentage of New Marriages which End in Divorce, in Selected Countries (2002)|
|Country||Divorces (as % of marriages)|
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Joined: 29 June 2008
Joined: 18 January 2006
Joined: 27 February 2009
Joined: 27 October 2008
Joined: 18 January 2006
I am suspicious of the statistics because Sweden is an anomaly in such social statistics. Sweden has the world's highest percentage of cohabitation, that is unmarried couples living together. The Swedish government also offers certain rights to cohabiting couple, its kind of like a hybrid of common law marriage and domestic partnership, but not marriage in the fullest sense. Many people have nick named it 'marriage-lite'. That is why most people choose not to get married but remain cohabitants.
When there are so few marriages, how are there so many divorces? Well the statistics say that most people who do choose to get married, half of those end up getting divorced. That's not that far-fetched or illogical. However, it makes one wonder why go through the hassle of being married, only to be divorced – when the government does offer cohabitation benefits.
That is why most reputable statistics on any marriage, divorce and cohabitation percentages actually have footnotes, excerpts etc explaining what they used to determine their statistics for Sweden and other European countries that have similar anomalies – so that they make sense and such discrepancies are explained. This statistic list did not have such footnotes explaining numbers, which makes me highly suspicious. Most sociological studies, feminist studies like the Rutgers university study have shown that the Swedish divorce rates while alarmingly high and increasing, have always been lower than the United States. Another caveat in this statistics.
Now the Divorce Magazine is just a magazine for legal and other divorce help and information and has no reason to skew their statistics. However, when I looked at their source they never compiled the list. They obtained the statistic from a third party called Americans for Divorce Reform. This third party is not a reputable research institute, nor are they known to have conducted any real research into marriage and divorce. They are an evangelical American group promoting what is called 'covenant marriage'. This is a legal arrangement where a couple before marriage legally bound to make the marriage work even if things go wrong. They can divorce only if certain pre-agreed circumstances occur – like abuse, felony or adultery etc. There are several problems with this arrangement. For example - even if a spouse is an out of work alcoholic or junkie, but not physically abusive – there is no grounds for divorce. This 'covenant marriage' is nothing but another way for evangelicals to define marriage and divorce as how their church views it and dismissing other social perspectives.
It is not beneath this group to skew statistics based on its agenda. It is actually known to portray socially liberal European countries in a negative light to show that social liberalism is not conducive to healthy society and family. That is why this list appears to have higher divorces in socially liberal countries, and lower divorces in socially conservative countries. Yes it is true that socially liberal countries do have higher divorce rates, but I would not take it at face value based on this statistic. In fact marriage and divorce stats are hard to uniformly gauge based on different rules regarding marriage. For example Catholics have lower divorce rates, but that is skewed based on the fact that Catholicism frowns on divorce and many Catholics attempt to annul the marriage – which is a different statistic. Countries based on Islamic laws allow polygamy, but it would be grounds for instant divorce in another country. Its hard to compare it as apples to apples – that's why it is imperative that the study have more substantial grounds
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