Task 1 (Bar chart) – USA marriage and divorce rates between 1970 and 2000


The charts below give information about USA marriage and divorce rates between 1970 and 2000, and the marital status of adult Americans in two of the years.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Sample Answer 1:

The first chart illustrates the change in the number of marriages and divorces in the US over a 30-year period from 1970. The second chart compares the proportion of American adults’ different marital statuses in two years, 1970 and 2000.

Overall, there was a clear downward trend of people getting married in the US. Although a majority of adult Americans were married in both recorded years, there was a quite higher percentage of people staying single in 2000.

From 1970 to 1980, 2.5 million marriages were registered in America; however, this number gradually decreased to 2 million by the year 2000. In contrast, the number of divorces filed was around 1 million in 1970 and then reached a peak at almost 1.5 million a decade later. There had been since then fewer divorces and the figure fell back to 1 million in 2000, exactly 50% of that of the marriages in the same year.

The percentage of married American adults dropped from 70% in 1970 to around 60% in 2000. Similarly, there was a marginal decrease in the proportion of widowed people. The figures for never-married people and divorced ones experienced a slight rise, by around 8% for each category.

[ written by – Quinn ]

Sample Answer 2:

The given bar graphs show data on the marriage and divorce rate in the USA from 1970 to 2000 and also show the marital statuses of the US citizens in these two years.

According to the first bat graph, the marriage rate in 1970 & 1980 was 2.5 million and this rate decreased to 2 million in the year 2000. On the contrary, the divorce rate in the USA was 1 million in 1970 and this rate increased to almost 1.5 million in 1980 and after that, it kept decreased to around 1 million again in the year 2000.

From the second graph, we can observe that in 1970 70% of adults were married while less than 15% never got married. The percentage of widowed and divorced people were less than 10% in this year. After 30 years, in 2000, the percentages of the married population decreased by 10% and the percentage of people who either never got married or got divorced increased. 

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