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Is age a predictor of marital status?

Is there an age where people are more likely go get divorced? Obviously, there's no definitive answer to that question. However, data gathered by the Minnesota Population Center shows some interesting trends regarding marital status and age.

The most current data, which is for 2013, indicated that while the percentage of people who were separated, divorced and/or had married more than once increased with the age of the subjects from those in their 20s to those in their 60s. Then it saw a nearly-steady decline in people further into their senior years (with a small upward blip in the early 90s age group). It was at age 59 that the study showed a nearly identical percentage of people who had ended at least one marriage and those still on their first one (42 percent to 43 percent, respectively).

The rates of separation, divorce and remarriage among older people have increased over the years. The study found some other interesting differences when comparing the 2013 data to U.S. Census data from 1960 and 1980. For example, a larger number people in their 20s in both of those previous years had already been divorced and remarried than in 2013. However, people over 40 in 1960 and 1980 were less likely to be separated, divorced and/or on a subsequent marriage than their over-40 counterparts in 2013.

The differences seen throughout the past fifty-plus years could well reflect the changing marriage trends, such as people waiting until they are out of college and graduate school and settled in a career before deciding to settle down. They also may reflect that fact that people are living, working and staying active well into their senior years, so may be more likely to end a marriage that is unhappy rather than stick it out for their remaining years.

Source: Business Insider, "Here's when you're probably going to get divorced," Andy Kiersz, June 11, 2015

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