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Canadian divorce rates down

May 5, 2004 at 12:09 PM

OTTAWA, May 5 (UPI) -- The divorce rate in Canada is in decline after three years of growth, according to a report by Statistics Canada.

The number of marriages also declined, but the drop in the divorce rate outpaced that reduction as Canadians sought more security and stability, the Globe and Mail reported.

Canada relaxed its divorce laws nearly 20 years ago, but some experts say the uncertainties of a post-Sept. 11 world have caused some married couples to rethink their desire to break up.

"I think that the earlier decades of extreme liberalism and laissez faire with respect to marriage and divorce have come and gone. ... A lot of people are far worse off after the divorce than they were when they were married," said Anne-Marie Ambert, a professor at York University in Toronto and marriage expert.

Between 2000 and 2002, the number of divorces nationwide fell to 70,155 from 71,144, even as the population expanded. The trend is also attributable to the fact that living together without marriage has become more widespread.

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