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How Long Does the Average Marriage in America Last?

You’ve probably heard various statements that marriages in America don’t last, or that the divorce rate is at record highs.

But is this true? And how long does the average marriage actually last in the United States?

Here’s a quick look at the research.

Average marriage length

The average marriage that ends in divorce lasts eight years in the United States, but there is significant variance across each individual state. There are 14 states that have a divorce rate of 50 to 65 percent. The highest divorce rate of any state is in Oklahoma, where 65.7 percent of marriages end in divorce.

Meanwhile, there are 12 states that have a divorce rate between 20 and 39 percent, with Hawaii having the lowest rate at 20 percent. The rest of the states fall between 40 and 50 percent.

The average marriage length for divorcing couples gets dragged down by the relatively large number of people who get divorced within their first few years of marriage. Couples who make it past the five-year mark are significantly less likely to ever get divorced. While “gray divorce” (divorce among people nearing or at retirement age) has been on the rise, in most circumstances you can still assume that the longer a marriage lasts, the less likely it will end in divorce.

The main causes of divorce in the United States continue to be financial issues, infidelity and general incompatibility.

Interested in learning more about the most common causes of divorce in the United States, and factors that make divorce more likely to occur? Contact an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. with any questions you have for our legal team.

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