Despite the oft-repeated statistic that half of marriages end in divorce, the divorce rate in the U.S. is actually the lowest it's been in 40 years, according to a new report released this week by Bowling Green State University's National Center for Marriage & Family Research.
The divorce rate fell 25% between 1980 and 2015, according to the report, dropping down to 16.9 divorces per every 1,000 married women. But the divorce rate isn't the same across the U.S. — it's highest in Washington, D.C., where 29.9 marriages out of every 1,000 ended in divorce. Wyoming, Nevada, Arkansas and Alaska rounded out the U.S. states with the highest divorce rates.
Hawaii boasts the lowest divorce rate in the country, with 11.1 marriages out of 1,000 ending in divorce.
Researchers aren't quite sure what's driving the drop in divorce rates. But, as, Wendy Manning, co-director of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, told Bloomberg, the divorce rate also varies by population. "We've seen a decline of divorce among people who are younger and an increase among people who are older," she said.
And though the national divorce rate was lower in 2015 than it was the year before, that wasn't a trend in every state. According to the report, 19 states saw an increased divorce rate from 2014 to 2015.