According to a study by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, divorce and separation rates have dropped for highly educated and the least educated Americans, while they are somewhat more likely for the moderately educated.

From the 1970s to the 1990s, divorce or separation within the first 10 years of marriage for highly educated people dropped from 15 percent to 11 percent, while the least educated population saw this rate decline from 46 percent to 36 percent. This figure slightly increased for the moderately educated, from 36 percent to 37 percent.

However, the National Marriage Project also found that Americans have also become less likely to marry from 1970 to 2009. In that time span, the number of annual marriages per 1,000 unmarried adult women fell approximately 50 percent. Researchers found that the growing acceptance and occurrence of unmarried cohabitation has lead to many non-marital unions rather than marriage.

Susan Reimer, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun, warns that these statistics don’t mean that every relationship is safe. She advises couples must be aware of how to remedy a partnership when the going gets tough.

“Realize there is no gold standard for marriage,” author Iris Krasnow told Reimer. “I saw all kinds that work. Nobody is perfect, and that includes you.”

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