When it comes to tying the knot, the longer you wait, the better.
But wait too long to get married and you might be at a greater risk of getting divorced.
According to Nicholas H. Wolfinger, a sociologist at the University of Utah, those who get hitched between the ages of 28 and 32 are at the lowest risk of splitting up. Moreover, waiting until the early 30s to get married, his analysis suggests, is more likely to lead to divorce.
That’s not all. Marrying after 32 means your chances of divorce would increase by 5% every year.
Wolfinger crunched numbers from the 2006-2010 and 2011-2013 National Survey of Family Growth, which gathers data related to family life, marriage, and divorce. He also controlled for a number of relevant factors, including respondents’ sex, race, family structure of origin, education, and religious tradition.
The results show a U-shaped relationship between the age of marriage and divorce risk.
“The odds of divorce decline as you age from your teenage years through your late twenties and early thirties,” he writes. “Thereafter, the chances of divorce go up again as you move into your late thirties and early forties.”
Although Wolfinger admits that it’s hard to pinpoint the reason why this happens, he does offer a simple explanation, which he calls a “selection effect.”
It’s possible, he believes, that people who wait until their thirties for marriage “may be the kinds of people who aren’t predisposed toward doing well in their marriages.”
“For instance, some people seem to be congenitally cantankerous. Such people naturally have trouble with interpersonal relationships. Consequently they delay marriage, often because they can’t find anyone willing to marry them. When they do tie the knot, their marriages are automatically at high risk for divorce,” he adds.
Marrying at the right age, in other words, can only help you so much.
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