Volume 11 - Article 14 | Pages 395–420

Marital Dissolution in Japan: Recent Trends and Patterns

By James Raymo, Miho Iwasawa, Larry L. Bumpass

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Date received:11 Nov 2004
Date published:17 Dec 2004
Word count:5558
Keywords:divorce, education, educational differentials, Japan, marital dissolution, marriage, marriage cohorts, synthetic cohort estimates


Very little is known about recent trends in divorce in Japan. In this paper, we use Japanese vital statistics and census data to describe trends in the experience of marital dissolution across the life course, and to examine change over time in educational differentials in divorce.
Cumulative probabilities of marital dissolution have increased rapidly across successive marriage cohorts over the past twenty years, and synthetic period estimates suggest that roughly one-third of Japanese marriages are now likely to end in divorce. Estimates of educational differentials also indicate a rapid increase in the extent to which divorce is concentrated at lower levels of education. While educational differentials were negligible in 1980, by 2000, women who had not gone beyond high school were far more likely to be divorced than those with more education.

Author's Affiliation

James Raymo - Princeton University, United States of America [Email]
Miho Iwasawa - National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Japan [Email]
Larry L. Bumpass - University of Wisconsin–Madison, United States of America [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Marriage intentions, desires, and pathways to later and less marriage in Japan
Volume 44 - Article 3

» Educational differences in early childbearing: A cross-national comparative study
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» Living alone in Japan: Relationships with happiness and health
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» Do low survey response rates bias results? Evidence from Japan
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» Educational Differences in Divorce in Japan
Volume 28 - Article 6

» Employment and household tasks of Japanese couples, 1994-2009
Volume 27 - Article 24

» Cohabitation and children's living arrangements: New estimates from the United States
Volume 19 - Article 47

» The topography of the divorce plateau: Levels and trends in union stability in the United States after 1980
Volume 8 - Article 8

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