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It is easy to misinterpret and misunderstand facts about divorce To begin with much of the media that informs us is American As a result we often accept American facts and erroneously apply them to the Canadian situation We do have to separate Canadian from American facts Second official statistics about divorce are sometimes confusing and erroneously interpreted even by a few scientists themselves And third when research information and official statistics are published radio TV and newspaper people often tend to report on some selected pieces of information and consequently may inadvertently blow them out of proportion Furthermore media people may neither have the time nor the space to provide the necessary appreciation of the context and other important facts which are essential in the interpretation of the information they selectively provide UNDERSTANDING THE NUMBERS Is it true that one out of every two marriages breaks up Definitely not This business about one out of every two marriages breaking up comes to us straight from the US where the rate has always been higher than our own Moreover even for Americans the claim exaggerates the rate of divorce which stands at 44 percent So what percentages of marriages do break up Frederick and Hamel 1998 cautiously estimate that almost one in every three Canadian couples 31 who married in 1991 will eventually split up if the 1991 divorce rates prevail Are divorce rates going up or down Statistics Canada presents us with the following rates of divorce throughout the years Years of divorcesRates per 100000 popRates per 100000 Married couples 192155864NA 19412462214NA 19616563360NA 196811343548NA 1969260931242NA 198167671271811744 1985 61980253611033 1986 78304298813016 1987 96200362315855 1990 80998295813115 1994 78880269712463 1995 77636262212219 Reform of Divorce Laws Divorce Act no fault Peak year There is no question that divorce has greatly increased in Canada since 1968 when the Divorce Laws entered into effect We have experienced a seven-fold increase by 1987 and a five-fold increase from
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