- 5 years ago
- Wedding: April 2018
- 59 percent of marriages for women under the age of 18 end in divorce within 15 years. The divorce rate drops to 36 percent for those married at age 20 or older. “Cohabitation, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in the United States,” M.D. Bramlett and W.D. Mosher
- 60 percent of marriages for couples between the ages of 20 and 25 end in divorce. National Center for Health Statistics
- 50 percent of all marriages in which the brides are 25 or older result in a failed marriage. National Center for Health Statistics
If you get married while still in your teens? Yes. It is much more likely. But as you can see, there is a SIGNIFICANT increase in probability that the marriage will last once you hit 20. And to top it off, there is only a 10 percentage point difference between the likelihood of a pre-25 marriage and a post-25 marriage lasting.
I will grant that the statistics I’ve cited above are from 2003; In 2010, the statistics from the report from the National Center of Health Statistics showed that women who married before the age of 20 were 37% likely to have a marriage that lasts 20 years or more, while women who were at least 20-24 by the age of their first marriage saw a dramatic increase in that number- up to a 55% likelihood that their marriages would survive that long.
But let’s take a look at some OTHER 2010 statistics, published earlier this year.
According National Health Statistics Reports (which can be found at cdc.gov):
- Women withouth a bachelors’ degree are SIGNIFICANTLY more likely to divorce. Women who have a bachelors’ degree have a 78% chance of their first marriage lasting at least 20 years. Women who have only a high school diploma only statistically have a 41% chance of their first marriage remaining in tact for 20 years or more.
- Women who have a child before their first marriage are statistically more likely to divorce. Women who have had no children before marriage stand a 56% chance of having their first marriage last 20+ years, while women who have had one or more children have a 33% chance of their first marriage lasting that long.
- Women who have a child within seven months of getting married, or who do not have a child at all, are statistically more likely to get divorced. Women who give birth to their first child 8 months or longer AFTER getting married to their husbands for the first time have a 77% chance of their marriage lasting 15 years or longer, compared to only a 50% chance for women who didn’t have a child at all, and only 47% for women who had their first child within 7 months of getting married.
- Women who have lived with their first husband before getting married are statistically more likely to get divorced. Women who have never cohabited with their first husbands pior to marriage have a 57% of their marriage lasting 20+ years, while women who do live with their first husbands have a 45% chance of the marriage lasting 20 or more years. (If you are engaged before you move in, there’s not much difference- the chances of your marriage lasting that long are raised only to 46%.)
- Women who marry a divorced man are statistically more likely to get divorced. Women whose first husbands had been previously married had a 38% chance of the marriage lasting 20+ years, compared to a 54% chance that it would last that long if the husband had never been previously married.
- Women who marry a man with children are more likely to get divorced. Women whose first husbands had children from a previous marriage had a 37% probability of the marriage surviving for 20 or more years, while women whose first husbands had no children had a 54% chance of the marriage lasting that long.
So we should go around telling women that they can’t get married until they scrape up enough money for a college education (or go into debt!), that they can’t start trying to have kids before they get married (but that they better have kids at some point afterwards!), that they better not move in with their boyfriends or fiances, and that they can’t marry a guy who has been married before or has had kids.
Any of those things would statistically make the marriage harder and less likely to succeed, so clearly they are doomed, right?!
NO. No, no, no, a thousand times no. I would like to make it clear that if any of the above statistics applies to you, I am not suggesting that you are not going to have a wonderful, happy marriage. In fact, I am using those statistics to say the complete opposite.
Given all the marriage statistics out there, it absolutely kills me that the one that seems to get harped on over and over again are the ones regarding age, with all other factors being completely ignored.
The report is actually quite an interesting one, and covers in some depth the methods used to gather data, as well as other statistics including religion, race, and likelihood of marriage (just getting married in general, not likelihood of the marriage lasting) based on multiple factors, as well as other demographic information. If you’re into that sort of thing, it’s a good read-