Second marriages less likely to end in divorce, report reveals

29 April 2013

WeddingSecond marriages are more stable than first marriages, according to new research that challenges the belief that couples who remarry will repeat the mistakes from their first marriage.

Almost half - 45 per cent - of all couples who marry for the first time in 2013 will divorce during their lifetime. However, a new report from the Marriage Foundation has found divorced couples who marry for the second time have only a 31% chance of their marriage ending in divorce.

The increased affluence of couples entering second marriages was cited as one reason why older couples had a better likelihood of making their marriage work over younger newlyweds. The age of the married couple was the most reliable predictor of whether the marriage would last.

The report's author, Harry Benson, commented: "When it comes to marriage, age is everything. Couples who tie the knot later in life are much less likely to divorce over their lifetime than couples who marry at an earlier age."

For both first and second marriages, differences in occupation, ethnicity and income are all factors that have been proven to increase the likelihood of the marriage ending in divorce, but their influence was less pronounced in second marriages.

The Marriage Foundation based its report on additional data it commissioned from the Office for National Statistics that distinguished between first and second marriages.  

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