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America’s marriage culture may be changing, but two statistics look about the same as they did 30 years ago:
• By the time women reach age 40, about eight in 10 will have married for the first time, just as they did in the 1980s.
• And 20 years later, only 52 percent of these wives will still be married – also about the same as before.
These two vital statistics are “pretty stable,” said Casey Copen, lead author of a report on first marriages released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
The report, which uses data from the National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2010 and previous years, confirms higher ages for marriage (28.3 years for men and 25.8 years for women), and premarital cohabiting as a normal rite of passage.
The duration of marriages is also tracked up to the 20th year, as well as characteristics associated with “survivability.”
For instance, although relatively few – one in five – first marriages fail within five years, they are likely to be associated with characteristics like marrying as a teen, coming from a single-parent home and not having a child together after marriage.
Conversely, marriages that reached their 20-year anniversary were associated with having a college degree, having a religious life, not cohabiting before marriage and not having previous marriages or children from previous relationships, the report said.
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SOURCE: The Washington Times
Cheryl Wetzstein

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