Divorce politics #2

A postscript to last year’s post on divorce statistics.

A common argument of left-familists is that WorkChoices is/was bad for families. I argued last year that this was not showing in the divorce statsitics; that these were continuing a downwards trend.

The divorce statistics for 2007, released today, confirm that this trend continued through WorkChoices’ first – and only – full year of operation.

It is only possible to calculate high-quality statistics in census years, ie divorces as a percentage of marriages, but in 2007 the crude divorce rate dropped from 2.5 per 1,000 persons to 2.3, with a nearly 7% decline in the absolute number of divorces.

Arguably only next year will we get a true marriage test of WorkChoices, because of the need for a year of separation before a divorce, but I doubt this trend will stop. It’s likely to be at least in part a prosperity dividend, and therefore the good economic conditions in 2007 will help produce another low divorce rate for 2008.