Each generation has its unique characteristics, challenges, and quirks. For instance, today’s parents fail to understand the youth’s obsession with Minecraft and Roblox, while young people view parents’ viewpoints and traditions outdated.

The divorce rates between different generations give us more information about them. Magazines and newspapers have continued to highlight the shifting change in preference between prior generations and millennials.

One of the most apparent contrasts between generations is their take on marriage, children and divorce. This attitude has continued to transform with the passing of time.

However, divorce rates have been on the decline from generation to generation, even though there has been a slight uptick in divorces over the past 10 years.

Generations and their Divorce Rates

There has been a total of six generations that have lived in the United States since 1900. Each has had a distinct methodology for handling relationships, family, marriage, and divorce, thus creating its distinctive characteristics.

However, finding a group that is entirely in sync is impossible. Within each group, you’ll find a certain percentage who have strayed from what would be considered a “normal tendency” within their generation.

This notwithstanding, the more significant trends and research on divorce rates over the years portray the current standards and their evolution.

The Greatest Generation

The generation born between 1901-1926 is famously called the greatest generation. Having survived two world wars, the Great Depression and other significant events, this group has certainly lived up to its name.

In this era, there was a black-and-white line between what was considered right and wrong. The approach used was clear and straightforward to the people.

This ideology was also borrowed from their opinions about marriage and divorce. Vows made at the beginning of marriage were mostly followed through, especially in the part where the union bound a couple through to death.

Marriage was considered a lifelong commitment. Regarding their lifestyles, it was common for men to provide and the wives to stay home and watch over the kids and the house.

Moral degradation is considered to be one of the reasons for divorce. This group was filled staunch followers of the “traditional” values commonly referred to as ‘traditional.’

The Silent Generation

Everyone born between 1927 and 1945 belongs to this generation. This group was also referred to as Mature Silents and had some similarities with the Greatest Generation. For example, the Mature Silents also fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Several social revolutions were experienced by this group, from feminism to civil rights movements. Like those who came before them, they did not disrupt the status quo regarding family, marriage, and divorce matters.

Marriages were highly valued and considered unions that didn’t easily break. People could only move in together after marriage, and kids would follow soon after.

Surprisingly, however, 65% of all married couples form the Silent Generation were ultimately divorced.

Baby Boomers

The Baby Boomers are the generation born after the wars between 1946 and 1965. this new era saw the most sudden changes, such as recording one of the highest percentages of single people.

This generation broke the boundaries of everything that was considered normal. They invented new ideas such as civil rights, credit cards, rock and roll, and even screens. Since the population was also high, they experienced cultural changing. The changing times reflected in divorce rates. Out of all generations, this one saw the most significant divorce cases. The rebellion was also transferred to relationships, families, and marriage.

While many traditional values no longer mattered in this “Me Generation.” All the focus was placed on individual happiness. Women started working, giving the family a secondary source of income. This consequently increased their spending power.

Rising numbers of no-fault divorces occurred. Marriage became easily dispensable, and divorce rates soared yet remain lower than the generation before.

Of the Baby Boomers who married, 48% got a divorce.

  • Baby Boomers are still divorcing with the highest rates
  • Divorces for people in their mid-50s has doubled since the 1990s
  • Divorce rates for above 65 have tripled since the 1990s

Generation X

The population in this generation was low because their predecessors had few children. People born between 1965 and 1980 were Generation X.

This generation followed suit by continuing with the individualism trait shown by the preceding generation. Contempt towards previously accepted social norms, authority, and values increased.

Career took prominence over family during this period, and it became customary for both men and women to work.

Divorce rates skyrocketed, and it has become a more accepted as a fact of life than proof of immorality. However, Generation X dealt with increasing divorce rates from a new angle.

Instead of the usual early marriage, people put off marriage until they were older or completely stayed away from it. As such, Generation X has a 36% divorce rate, continuing the decline in divorce rates from generations prior.


Millennials don’t necessarily have the best reputation. The media blames them for the decline of previously popular food chains such as Buffalo Wild Wings, the failing banking business, and homeownership.

This infamous generation is the people born from 1981 to 1996. Complete access to computers at home and in school became the norm. Having present parents also made them illustrate traits like narcissism and entitlement.

Concerning marriage and divorce, millennials continued to follow in the footsteps of Generation X. They typically marry later in life. Since those born in this era are currently in their 40s, they have shown various behavioral patterns.

People debate that several factors have initiated this change:

  • Gender equality
  • Putting education needs before marriage
  • Financial constraints
  • Normalizing having kids without marriage

Millennials have a 26% divorce rate, which is low compared to the other generations.

Generation Z

There are several ways that this generation is referred to; Post-Millennials, Boomlets, and Centennials. Everyone born after 1996 falls under this category. Concluding their marriage and divorce pattern is impossible since it’s too early to tell.

Generation Z will become the first generation where every person knows or owns a phone or laptop. With it comes new promises and changes. The year 2006 saw a steady rise in birth rates than ever experienced before.

That automatically means that this generation will have a record high population. They’ll probably continue with the trend of engaging in marriage at a later point in their lives than their previous generations.

All that is left now is waiting to see how this generation will handle affairs concerning relationships, family, marriage, and divorce.