What makes the divorce rate in India compared to the divorce rate in America so much lower when the rate of divorce has increased internationally over the decades? The statistics for 1990 show the number of divorces granted in India averaged 74 out of 1,000 marriages or a percentage rate of 7.4. The rise in divorce has now climbed to 100 out of 1,000 or a 10% rate. Even with this number of divorces India has one of the lowest rates of divorce in the world.
While the numbers in 2011 for Americans are at a much higher rate averaging 19.4% and estimates from reliable resources think approximately half of all current marriages are expected to end in divorce (Raley & Bumpass 2003.) According to a study by the National Center for Family Research and Marriage there are almost 2 marriages for every divorce.
Can the answer be found in television programs such as “The Bold and the Beautiful” or “Sex in the City?” Such shows might provide some of the answers.
Why the Divorce Rate in India is Lower
The lower divorce rate in India can be attributed to religious beliefs of the Hindu faith where marriage is considered to be a holy sacrament rather than a contract between two people. Another factor is that marriages are prearranged amongst families. When families choose a mate they will have a criteria that includes what caste the potential spouse comes from. Their income and social status are important considerations as well as age, height, weight and even their astrological signs are used to help find good compatibility. Once they are married couples will often remain in the relationship just to protect the honor of the two families.
Why the Divorce Rate in India Increases
Today, even in India, times and culture is changing. With more education comes the opportunity for financial freedom, which in turn allows more couples the opportunity to choose their own spouse like we have in done in America for decades. As this has progressed over the last several decades the rate of divorce has started to increase as well.
Once we start to look at the numbers we find a lot of similarities in the divorce rate between both countries. The age brackets are close in nature and fall between 25 and 35. Divorce seems to happen after being married for a period of 4 to 7 years. A higher number occur in or near the cities with a higher number of women who initiate the divorce proceedings. Within a few years people tend to remarry and start new relationships with combined families.
The divorce rate in India has started to climb to the same levels as the divorce rate in America. There are more divorce courts currently in New Delhi than ever before. Divorce has become more acceptable without the consequences and disgrace associated with a failed marriage.
The freedom to choose a divorce over staying in an abusive or unloving relationship has become the path to getting a fresh start for many people both from India and America. It is a decision that should not to be taken lightly with many things to be considered. Personal safety, well-being and happiness are very high on the priority list for most in both countries today.
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