Study: You’re More Likely To Divorce If You Marry After 32

July 17, 2015  |  

If I’ve learned anything in recent years, it’s that the boatloads of  surveys on marriage and divorce that have been published over the past decade or so are not very helpful when it comes to making decisions pertaining to life-long commitments. For years, the experts have said that the longer you wait to get married, the less likely it is that you’ll end up in divorce court. However, a recent survey suggests that there’s also a such a thing as waiting too long to marry.

While analyzing data from the National Survey of Family Growth from 2006 to 2010, Nicholas Wolfinger, found that couples who marry in their early 30s are more likely to divorce than couples who tie the knot in their late 20s. Of course, historic stats that suggest that teen marriages and the marriages of those who wed in their early 20s are more likely to end in divorce than those who marry after age 25, are still relevant today.  However, there’s something about the 30+ age group that still leaves researchers scratching their heads. The aformentioned survey suggests that each additional year you wait to get married after age 25 decreases chances of divorce by approximately 11 percent. But this all changes once couples reach age 32. Marrying after 32 causes odds of divorce to increase again. Wolfinger explains:

This is a big change. To the best of my knowledge, it’s only recently that thirty-something marriage started to incur a higher divorce risk. It appears to be a trend that’s gradually developed over the past twenty years: a study based on 2002 data observed that the divorce risk for people who married in their thirties was flattening out, rather than continuing to decline through that decade of life as it previously had.

While Wolfinger is unsure what causes the spike after age 32, he speculates that self-selection is the culprit, stating that perhaps those who wait so long to marry may not be suited for marriage, or may have married someone who isn’t suited.

Blah. Blah. Blah. Chances are, they’ll be telling you something different a couple of years from now. In other words, live your life and toss all of these depressing marriage stats out of the window.

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