Trends

Love and marriage … and big data

Anyone who’s experienced divorce knows the tragic consequences. It’s hard on the adults, the kids, and anyone else connected to it. So some NCF givers with backgrounds in psychology and data science joined forces and joined a team to do something about it.

In an age where common ground is hard to find, there’s been widespread agreement in academic and political circles about the importance of family stability in the lives of children and communities across the country. Yet there’s also been a real sense of fatalism about our ability to do anything about it. Changing something as important as divorce rates has seemed about as possible as changing the weather to many experts and social scientists.

But J.P. DeGance (formerly of Philanthropy Roundtable) took a run at the problem. With his new nonprofit, Communio, and the help of a team of marriage experts, philanthropists, and data scientists, he deployed diagnostics and old-school social capital to drive some stunning results in a two-year test program.

For 40 of the 44 years leading up to the project, divorce rates in Duval County, Florida – which includes Jacksonville – had experienced record-high divorce rates. But those numbers experienced a stunning 28 percent plunge between 2015 and 2017, according to the Philanthropy Roundtable.

Duval County, Florida suffered from high divorce rates for the better part of 44 years, but those rates plunged 28 percent in two years as a result of the project.

That’s a number so big that it should have prompted headlines nationwide. And it’s a story so important that communities across the country should be studying it. But there was even more positive news if you care about God and faith in America.

Photo: Siora Photography, Unsplash

Read the full story at Newsweek.
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