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Marriage in a modern age; where in the world our vows last longest, and where divorce is most likely to occur


'Til death do us part is no longer a realistic prospect in this day and age.

From educational background to age difference and religious affiliation, a host of factors affect whether we will last the distance or not.

But one interesting element of the whole debate is how where we're from influences marital longevity.

A new piece from the folks over at US website Hopes&Fears uses data from the most recent individual nationwide censuses to pull together current marriage length and divorce statistics from across the world, in an attempt to see where wedding vows last the longest.

The article doesn't go as far as to speculate why marriages last longer in particular places but it's still an interesting snapshot of where exactly we stand on a global scale of average  divorce rates (and the answer, for people in England and Wales, is rather depressing).

Come grab an overview of marriage in a modern age, with a look at average marriage duration and divorce rates from ten countries around the world - in descending order, from those place with the strongest marital prospects to those with the least.


Italians have one of the highest marriage success rates in the world

10. Italy

Average marriage length: 18 years
National divorce rate: 30.7%

Perhaps it's the irresistible romance of the place that means couples stay married for an average of 18 years - according to the Economist, this is longer than any other country evaluated. But as of 2010, separation and divorce rates grew, and marriage as a trend overall is falling out of favour with Italians.

9. Canada

Average marriage length: 13.8 years
National divorce rate: 48%

The average length of a marriage, nationally, is 14 years, with the country’s capital, Ottawa, falling just below at 13.8 years. Divorce rates have risen in recent years.

8. France

Average marriage length: 13 years
National divorce rate: 55%

This average marriage length is for Parisians. In France overall, the divorce rate has boomed by around 40% in recent years.

7. United States

Average marriage length: 12.2 years
National divorce rate: 41%

An average marriage in New York City lasts longer - at 12.2 years - than the national average, which falls around 8.2 years. Perhaps it's that stubborn New Yorker streak. 

6. Australia

Average marriage length: 12 years
National divorce rate: 43%

An emerging trend in Australia is that married couples are holding out for their kids. A 2013 report concluded that "more Australians are divorcing after twenty years or more of marriage" when their children have left home. 

Marriages last for an average of 12 years in Mexico City

Marriages last for an average of 12 years in Mexico City

5. Mexico

Average marriage length: 12 years
National divorce rate: 15%

The divorce rate is relatively low in Mexico, but recent studies have indicated that most couples who do separate break up within two years of tying the knot. 

4. Japan

Average marriage length: 11 years
National divorce rate: 36%

Divorce rates in Japan have soared in the past decade, prompting the emergence of the divorce ceremony which acts as a separation ceremony in the same way a marriage acts as a unifying event. 

3. England 

Average marriage length: 11 years
National divorce rate: 42%

Official statistics from 2012 estimate that 42% of marriages in England and Wales will end in divorce, with 34% of marriages ending before the 20th anniversary. However, most fall apart earlier than this, with the highest chance of divorce for us Brits occuring between the 4th and 8th wedding anniversary.

2. South Africa

Average marriage length: 11 years
National divorce rate: 31.2%

The divorce rate for South Africans varies according to gender and age - Most South African men get divorced between the ages of 40 and 44 while women divorce younger, between 30 and 35 years old.

1. Qatar

Average marriage length: 5.5 years
National divorce rate: 38%

Qatar has a surprisingly low average marriage length. A report from 2011 indicated that 60% of couples split within five years, many without even consummating the marriage. 

Photos: ThinkStock



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