Skip to content

    Health & Sex

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Which Marriages Last 10 Years?

    Trove of Marriage, Cohabitation Data Released by CDC
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    March 2, 2010 -- Will your marriage survive at least 10 years? The odds are worse if you're young or have no kids during the marriage, the CDC reports.

    The findings come from a new CDC report on U.S. marriage and cohabitation. The data were collected in 2002 in one-on-one interviews with a nationally representative sample of some 7,600 women and 5,000 men.

    The report is based on heterosexual relationships, defining cohabitation as a man and a woman living together in a sexual relationship without being married.

    Here are some highlights of the report.

    Which Marriages Last 10 Years?

    Get married young, break up young. The odds of a marriage lasting at least 10 years are:

    • 54% for women and 47% for men who get married between ages 15 and 19

    • 64% for women and 65% for men who get married between ages 20 and 25

    • 76% for women and 73% for men who get married at 26 or older

    Do children affect marriages? Apparently so. The odds of a marriage lasting at least 10 years are:

    • 34% for women and 37% for men who have no children during the marriage

    • 55% for women and 65% for men who have a first child by their eventual husband or wife before marriage

    • 79% for women and 79% for men whose first child is born at least eight months after marriage

    • Having children doesn't mean the marriage lasts a lifetime. 1997 data show that only 57% of marriages last 15 years, and only half last 20 years.

    Will your marriage last longer if you first explore living together? Maybe not -- even if you cohabit with your eventual spouse. The odds of a marriage lasting at least 10 years are:

    • 60% for women and 62% for men who ever cohabited

    • 61% for women and 63% for men who cohabited with their first spouse

    • 66% for women and 69% for men who never cohabited

    Education makes a difference. But there's at least one surprise here: Just getting a high school diploma doesn't help, but a college degree makes a big difference. The odds of a marriage lasting at least 10 years are:

    Today on WebMD

    couple not communicating
    How to tell when you're in one.
    couple face to face
    Get your love life back on track.
     
    couple having an argument
    Turn spats into solutions
    couple in argument
    When to call it quits.
     
    Life Cycle of a Penis
    Article
    HIV Myth Facts
    Slideshow
     
    How Healthy is Your Sex Life
    Quiz
    Couple in bed
    Video
     
    6 Tips For Teens
    Article
    Close-up of young man
    Article
     
    screening tests for men
    Slideshow
    HPV Vaccine Future
    Article