4. What are
the Results of a Community Marriage Policy®?
- Divorce Rate Falls: An independent study by the Institute for
Research and Evaluation of the first 114 Community Marriage Policies found
that on average, divorce rates fell 17.5% over seven years, nearly double
the 9.4% decline of very similar cities in each state. Although that is a
modest difference, it saved 30,000 to 50,000 marriages through 2001. In
fact, seven cities slashed divorce rates by 48% or more. With six more years
and 106 more CMPs in place, perhaps 100,000 divorces have been averted.
- Cohabitation Drops: The Institute study also found cohabitation
fell 13% in CMP cities from 1990-2000 while it rose in similar cities by
19%. Thus, CMP cities ended the decade with cohabitation one-third lower
than control cities. No other organization has helped any city reduce
divorce and cohabitation -- let alone in more than 100 cities.
- The Modesto Story: Since the clergy of Modesto, CA adopted the
first Community Marriage Policy in 1986, not only has the divorce rate
plunged 50%, but the number of marriages has grown from 1,300 in 1986 to
2,500 in 2005. As thousands of marriages have been saved or created,
children are faring much better. In a decade, the teen birth rate fell 30%,
double the U.S. decline - and the school dropout rate fell 19%.
- The Story of Modesto, CA: results of the first CMP, started in
1986, include slashing the divorce rate by one half and raising the marriage
rate by 12%.
- Richard Albertson of Live the Life Ministries in Tallahassee, FL, reduced the city’s divorce rate by 23%. He built a CMP with a budget of
$800,000, raised locally. His ministry also won a $500,000 per year, 5year
- Rev. Jeff Meyers & Pastor LeRoy Sullivan created a suburban- urban
CMP in Kansas City, KS, that cut the divorce rate 63%. Pastor Sullivan
transformed his inner city church from women and children to couples and
- Dr. Ann Gries, Marriage Builders, Evansville, IN, led the
creation of a CMP that reduced divorces by 20% and increased the marriage
rate by 16%. Creating an innovative program on a tiny budget, she recently
won a $500,000 per year, 5-year federal grant.
This story repeats itself in more than 200 other cities and towns. See
CommunityMarriagePolicy.org for a map.