Sunday, May 24, 2009

Normal Marriage & Divorce

In the Sunday edition of The Pantagraph there are wedding anniversary announcements, wedding announcements, engagement announcements, and birth announcements. These are all presented in a separate section from the divorce announcements and obituaries. It’s rather silly to keep continuations and new beginnings separate from endings. I think it would be more realistic to have them together in the same section, just like they occur in real life. Wedding anniversaries range from 25 years up to 60 years. As the headline states, those are milestones. But the divorce announcements do not state how many years each couple was married. Revealing those “milestones” might be an eye-opener to those listed in the wedding and engagement sections.

What do marriage and divorce look like locally? Between 2000 and 2005, the number of marriages occurring in McLean County declined a little, starting at 1,010 in 2000, and ending at 907 in 2005. The number of divorces in McLean County over that same period of time started at 549, was at 451 in 2004, and then ended at 501 in 2005. (These statistics come from the Illinois Department of Public Health web site.) Just looking at the town of Normal over the years 2005-2007 (for people 15 and over), 34.3% were married and 6.7% were divorced. 55.1% were never married, which shows the effect of the college student population on local data. (These statistics come from the U.S. Census Bureau web site.)

Only 34.3% married and 6.7% divorced. Kind of contradicts personal observation, doesn’t it? It seems like there are so many married couples and so many people getting divorced (and then remarrying) around here. That’s why it’s good to check the statistics.

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