Ehescheidungen in Deutschland: Entwicklungen und Hintergründe
by Evelyn Grünheid
The focus is on the question whether important theoretical insights about divorce, which in the literature are often derived from results of surveys and smaller studies, can be verified on the basis of large official data sets? This was especially possible regarding the demonstration of age effects on the risk of divorce. Marriages of couples who have married well below the average marrying age are particularly prone to divorce. With increasing age of partners and duration of marriage, the risk of divorce decreases, however, it has nevertheless increased in long-term marriages over the course of time. With regard to age differences between spouses, marriages in which women are more than ten years older than their partner show the highest risk of divorce. In cities, the divorce rate is higher than in rural areas. This trend is unabated; however, it has increased much faster in the Western federal states with lower population densities within the last 20 years, so that a convergence can be seen here. All examined aspects indicate that the quality of statements – especially about divorce occurrence – strongly depends on the available data sets and the calculation methods used to interpret these. This becomes particularly clear when looking at the example of the average duration of marriage until divorce. The calculation using absolute numbers increasingly overestimates the average duration of marriage due to the stronger influence of divorces of long-time marriages. Therefore, it is recommended to use weighted data.