Divorces Decline, but the Seven-year Itch Remains a Reality


Family attorneys in Pasadena have seen divorce slow its increase for decades. Now a new study from the United States Census Bureau says that divorce is, in fact, declining, with more couples likely to reach their 10-year wedding anniversary. Yet the fabled seven-year itch is still very much a reality, with nearly 1 in 2 first marriages estimated to end in divorce.

About 75 percent of couples who have walked down the aisle since 1990 reported they remained married for at least a decade. That's a 3-percentage-point increase compared to couples who got hitched in the 1980s. According to the census report released on Wednesday, the small declines may be attributed to couples living together before getting married and increases in job and educational opportunities. The bureau also notes that the average age of marrying couples has increased, meaning Americans are waiting longer before they get married. The Census Bureau also notes that much of the divorce decline can be attributed to the rising number of couples and individuals who chose not to marry at all.

In addition, more couples are staying together longer, according to the report. Fifty-five percent of married couples have been together for 15 years or longer. A third of those couples have reached their 25th anniversary and 6 percent have been married for 50 years or more.

This being said, the Census Bureau did find that the average marriage still ends in the five-to-ten-year range. The median time to the official end of the marriage is eight years, according to the report. Three out of four couples are still in their first marriage, 8 percent consist of partners in their second marriage and 1 percent of married couples include a husband and wife who have been married more than three times.