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Perils of the first decade

15 February 2013

SHUTTERSTOCK

COUPLES who are married for ten years are no more likely to be divorced than they would have been 40 years ago, a new report suggests.

What is the divorce rate? was published last week by the Marriage Foundation, which was launched last year by Sir Paul Coleridge, a High Court judge ( News, 4 May; Interview, 20 July). The report examined the divorce rate during the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

It said: "After surviving the first decade, couples face near-enough identical risk of divorce, regardless of whether they married in the 1960s, 70, 80s or 90s."

The author of the report, Harry Benson, said: "All the change in divorce rates since the 1960s have occurred during the first ten years of marriage."

The report recommended that measures to strengthen marriage "must focus on the first ten years . . . the period with both highest divorce rates and greatest variation."

The Office for National Statistics reported last month that, in 2011, 47 per cent (21 million) of the adult population of England and Wales was married. In 2001: 51 per cent.

www.marriagefoundation.org.uk

 

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