The Irish Times goes for the tabloid headline today with Marriage breakdown up 500% in last 20 years. I know I go on about it again but will somebody please give journalists a course in statistics. 500% rise suggests that Ireland in recent years has turned into a haven of marriage breakdown with kids abandoned left right and centre. But 500% rise of a small number is still a small rise. Now lets look at the actually number 13 per cent. 13 per cent of marriages break down. This compares to the EU divorce rate of 40% (if you consider that not all breakdowns will result in divorce some just separation figures 2002 Belgium has a 76% divorce rate by the way ) .Our breakdown rate is 3 times below the EU average. Or maybe to put into percentages the EU average is 300% bigger then the Irish average. Considering the boom time we have had for the past 10 years or so. The fact that we are far below the EU average tells me that it is not as big a deal as the rest of the EU. Despite what the Iona Institute would like you to think the fabric of society is not disappearing with the collapse of the catholic church.
One more thing.
The number of lone parents is up 80 per cent since 1986, the report adds, with 190,000 lone parents now resident in the country.
According to the census lone parents are 169,700