Divorce Rate

Subject: Family
Type: Critical Analysis Essay
Pages: 7
Word count: 1802
Topics: Divorce, Marriage


Divorce is a term used to refer to the separation or breakage of the existing bond between married couples by a competent body such as a legal court of law. This term is only relevant when both the couples are still alive; thus separation by death cannot be termed as a divorce. It should be noted that most research shows that divorce cases have dominated most on the courts not only in the United States of America but also in the whole world (Kennedy & Ruggles, 2014). Marriage is no longer taken as a serious and a sacred union in the world today. Therefore, this paper focuses on analyzing the various reasons for divorce, the difference between developed and underdeveloped countries regarding divorce rates, religious views on divorce basing on three nations which are the USA, Canada, and the Netherlands. It also analyses the population and level of education of the three countries. 

Reasons Associated with Divorce

Marriage is never a bed of roses as most of the young teenager think. There are a lot of challenges that are associated with marital unions which in turn causes divorce. These causes of divorce are experienced everywhere in the world not only in Canada, USA, and the Netherlands. It is worth noting that the primary reason for divorce in the world is brought about by infidelity. In this regard, almost 80% of the family breakages results from the infidelity act where one partner engages in an extra-marital sexual affair without the consent of the other partner (Hawkins et al., 2012). Most scholars indicate that infidelity arises from innocent friendship and thus married couples should be careful on whom to befriend.

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Another cause of divorce in most countries is the external pressure such as financial problems. Most of the families are brought to an end following the tension in the relationships due to financial issues. The hardship of finances can drift the family by increasing depression and emotional stress leading to the end of a marriage. Also, work issues are some the external pressures that can cause divorce. Besides, difficulties regarding the allocation of house tasks and responsibilities have been proven to be one among the many reasons for divorce.

Nevertheless, most of the research conducted in Netherlands and Canada indicates that divorce cases are also attributed to lack of communication and existence of incompatible traits among the couples. Lack of proper communication may be demonstrated by a partner failing to talk to his or her spouse, yelling at each other, or making bad and nasty comments while expressing oneself. Lousy communication tends to create frustrations and resentments which drift the family apart causing a divorce. On the other hand, lack of compatible goals and characters may develop disagreements between couples (Hawkins et al., 2012).

It should be noted that in the current generation, weight gain is a very sensitive issue that causes married people to separate especially in the USA, Canada, and the Netherlands. Most couples argue that increase in weight of a spouse may make the individual less attractive leading to lack of intimacy. Therefore, weight issues between the couples eventually lead to the significant rise in the divorce rates.

Arranged and Free Marriages

Divorce cases are mostly rampant in the United States and other countries especially in Pakistan since the parents tend to choose marriage partners for their children without their consent based on social status, religion, and the friendship existing between the parents. Apparently, marriage is built on the foundation of love between the couples. However, when one is not free to choose his or her partner, he or she may feel enslaved in marriage. Therefore, people should be allowed to choose their marriage partners who they love and understand in the bid to avoid divorce cases in the future. It is unethical to arrange a marriage for someone since the couples need to identify and learn each other before they commit to the marital union (Kennedy & Ruggles, 2014).

Differences between Developed and Underdeveloped Nations

Researchers agree that almost 50% of the marriages in the developed countries are brought to an end as compared to the 10% in the underdeveloped countries. This difference is attributed to the strong and stable institutions that support the divorce process in the advanced countries such as the United States of America. Due to the availability of freedom in the developed countries, an individual is at liberty to choose the kind of life he or she wants to live thus making it easy for the people to file their divorce. On the contrary, the underdeveloped countries lack strong legal institutions to support the divorce cases. Therefore, the individuals are not freely allowed by the institutions to pursue a divorce. Moreover, divorce cases are a minimal percentage in the underdeveloped countries since there is lack of open access to legal procedure regarding divorce. The process is faced with various constraints since it is based on faulty principles which scare people from filling their divorce.

Religious Views on Divorce

Different religions have a different perception of divorce basing on their faith. For instance, the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands comprises of the Christians, Muslims, and the Buddhists who view the issue of divorce differently. Christianity condemns the act of separation and sees it as an evil process which is disliked by God (Richards & Bergin, 2014). These perceptions are based on the Biblical scriptures. On the contrary, Islamic allows divorce although they do not encourage it. The Muslims argue that divorce is allowed as the last option by Allah since it might be for the best interests of the two spouses who want to separate. Canada is made up of a large population of Catholics who view divorce as a sin since marriage is a sacred institution created by God. It should be noted that the Netherlands has a lot of irreligious people who do things depending on their understanding and beliefs. In this regard, divorce is not prohibited since it is viewed as a decision of oneself to satisfy his or her interests.

2nd and 3rd Divorce Rates

The recent research indicates that cases of divorce are continuing to be on the rise not only in USA, Canada, and the Netherlands, but also in the world at large. Besides, it is a reported that over 50% of adults in the United States have been married twice implying that they have experienced divorce in the past. Also, about 65% of the Canadian adults were either in their second or third marriages. According to Kennedy and Ruggles (2014), the second and third divorce are encouraged in Canada since it is believed that it provides a platform for building a more stable marriage of in the future. Therefore, unions after 3rd divorce are believed to be long-lasting and durable.

Education Levels

There is a significant relationship between the divorce cases and the level of education of individuals in a given country. Research depicts that the more educated the people in a nation are, the higher the rates of divorce cases. In light of past research work, high education levels provide a chance for one to attain the necessary resources required to win a legal process of divorce in a court. Moreover, more educated people will be aware of the procedure to follow to file for a divorce than the less educated individuals. For instance, the United States continues to record the highest number of divorce cases as compared to Canada and Netherland since it has the highest level of education (OECD, 2007).

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The United States of America has the highest population size compared to Canada and Netherlands. The population sizes of Netherlands, Canada, and the USA are as shown in table 1 below;

CountryPopulation SizePercentage

Table 1. Population sizes in the Netherlands, Canada, and USA. Adapted from Population Country Comparison in Indexmundi.com., Retrieved January 10, 2018, from https://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx. Copyright 2017 by IndexMundi.

The data in Table 1 are used to draw a bar graph for visual representation of the population in the three countries as shown in Figure 1. It compares the percentage population among the three counties.

Figure 1. Percentage population in Canada, the Netherlands, and the USA

Divorce Demography

It should be noted that the crude rate of divorce in every 1000 people is 3.2, 2.0, and 1.5 in United States, Netherlands, and Canada respectively. The table 2 below shows the crude rate of divorce in the three countries basing on the countries’ population.

CountryCrude Rate of Divorce in 1000 peopleCrude Rate of divorce in the whole populationPercentage Rate of Divorce
United States3.21,045,202.53492.3%

Table 2. Crude divorce rates in the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Adapted from Divorce Rates around the World in Business Insider, by P. Engel, 2014, Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/map-divorce-rates-around-the-world-2014-5?IR=T. Copyright 2018 by Business Insider Inc.

The data in Table 2 above is visually represented in a bar graph as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Percentage rate of divorce in the USA, Canada, and the Netherlands

The rates of divorce in the three countries differ significantly as shown in figure 2 above. The United States has the highest rate of divorce as compared to the Netherlands and Canada


In the bid to control the increasing rate of divorce not only in USA, Canada, and the Netherlands but also in the whole world at large, the society should embrace strategies that will enhance a lifetime marital relationship. The most fundamental move that should be adopted by every couple in these countries is to visit a marriage counselor at least two times in a year to cement their relationships and build a healthy family. Many married people often ignore this strategy hence it becomes difficult for them to solve their problems when they become vast and worse to be handled. Also, it is very crucial for married people to share and communicate their needs in the relationship to avoid resenting each other. One should express his or her needs that are not met in the union as well as speak out their expectations.

Besides, couples should make it a priority to spend some time together either on vacations or any other events they share in common. Most couples feel unhappy when they realize that they do not relate or they are not close anymore hence creating a room for divorce. Every couple should understand that children’s needs and hectic schedules should not take precedence over having quality time with one another. Nevertheless, couples should accept that their partners are human and they are bound to making mistakes, thus to avoid divorce, they should appreciate and tolerate each other’s flaws.

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  1. Engel, P. (2014). MAP: Divorce Rates Around The World. 
  2. Hawkins, A. J., Willoughby, B. J., & Doherty, W. J. (2012). Reasons for divorce and openness to marital reconciliation. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 53(6), 453-463.
  3. Indexmundi.com. (2018). Population – Country Comparison. [online] 
  4. Kennedy, S., & Ruggles, S. (2014). Breaking up is hard to count: The rise of divorce in the United States, 1980–2010. Demography, 51(2), 587-598.
  5. OECD. (2007). Education at a Glance 2005: OECD Indicators. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. 
  6. Richards, P., & Bergin, A. E. (2014). Handbook of psychotherapy and religious diversity. American Psychological Association.
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