Marriage and Divorce: The Statistics


Learn what the 2003 data reveals about who is getting married, when they're getting married, and who is most likely to divorce.

  • The average age of a woman getting married in the United States is 27. " Bride's Magazine

     

  • The average age of a man getting married in the United States is 29. " Bride's Magazine

     

  • 88 percent of American men and women between the ages of 20 and 29 believe that they have a soul mate who is waiting for them. " University Wire, Louisiana State University

     

  • 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

     

  • 65 percent of altar-bound men and women live together before getting married. " Bride's Magazine

     

  • Research indicates that people who live together prior to getting married are more likely to have marriages that end in divorce. " The Boston Herald


  • A recent study on cohabitation concluded that after five to seven years, only 21 percent of unmarried couples were still living together. " The Boston Herald

  • 55 percent of cohabitating couples get married within five years of moving in together. Forty percent of couples who live together break up within that same time period. " Annual Review of Sociology

     

  • Children of divorce have a higher risk of divorce when they marry, and an even higher risk if the person they marry comes from a divorced home. One study found that when the wife alone had experienced a parental divorce, her odds of divorce increased to 59 percent. When both spouses experienced parental divorce, the odds of divorce nearly tripled to 189 percent. " Journal of Marriage and the Family

     

  • The likelihood that a woman will eventually marry is significantly lower for those who first had a child out of wedlock. By age 35, only 70 percent of all unwed mothers are married in contrast to 88 percent of women who have not had a child out of wedlock. " "Finding a Mate? The Marital and Cohabitation Histories of Unwed Mothers," Lawrence L. Wu and Barbara Wolfe