Average Length of Marriages

Mary Ann posed an interesting question on a recent article, about the average length of marriages these days. It’s hard to track down exact statistics as there are so many variables, but here are a few things I found will give an idea of the length of the average marriage.

In the United Kingdom in 2003, out of 153490 divorces, 40,599 divorces occurred during the first 5-9 years time frame. The next biggest number was between 10-14 years 29,831 and 20,923 in the 15-19 years period. What is interesting is the number that ends up in divorce after only 0-2 years. It stands 10,316, which sure doesn’t sound like people waited long or worked too hard at it before opting out.

By the time all statistics have been taken into consideration, the average marriage in the United Kingdom lasted 11.3 years. In the USA it is on average 8 years. In the USA people apparently get divorced most between June and October. I’d love to hear from people in the USA as to why they think their statistics regarding the average length of marriages varies so much from other countries and what happens between June and October.

All these statistics seem to support what a woman said to me today that ‘today’s couples have no staying power.’

In Australia the average length of marriages was interestingly 11-14 years for men and 14-16 for women. Another article claimed it was only 8.5-9 years. This is despite the survey conducted which showed 7 out of every 10 people claimed to believe marriage should last forever. There is obviously a huge gap between the dream and the reality.

But for some people the two are the same. Take Les and Betty Pascoe, who recently celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. When asked for the secret to a happy lasting marriage they said it was, ‘just working together and doing things together.’

Another couple is John and Mary McDougall who married in Scotland and later immigrated to Australia. They recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. After living many years in Southwestern Sydney, they now live on the south coast in a caravan park, which I’d suggest makes for a lot of togetherness.

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