Sunday, October 04, 2009

Atheists Divorce at Higher Rates

Via Thursday's comment, Vox Day's explanation of that old factoid about Christians divorcing at higher rates than atheists:

However, Barna's conclusions in his 1999 study were marred by a serious problem. The divorce rate he calculated was not based on the percentage of marriages that had failed within each religious affiliation but, rather, the percentage of divorcees out of the total population of the affiliation. Since one cannot get divorced if one has never been married, the conclusions presented a very misleading picture of the comparative likelihood of divorce for Christians, atheists and everyone else. This flaw may be why the study is no longer available on the Barna site; it is certainly the reason that Barna noted in a later study "One reason why the divorce statistic among non-born-again adults is not higher is that a larger proportion of that group cohabits, effectively side-stepping marriage, and divorce, altogether."

Read the whole thing.


Trumwill said...

Another factor (in favor of Christians) is that I'm relatively certain that if you do a breakdown by class and the age of the couple getting married, I would be willing to bet that Christians do better there as well. The atheist demographic has all of the advantages in terms of economic class, education, and so on.

But I'm going to ignore all that and note that Episcopalians divorce at lower rates than Baptists :).

Thursday said...

It seems fairly clear the conservative Christians do better than atheists and agnostics, but are they better than the general population?