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Q: Marriage Statistics ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Marriage Statistics
Category: Relationships and Society > Relationships
Asked by: aluchsinger-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 15 May 2004 22:52 PDT
Expires: 14 Jun 2004 22:52 PDT
Question ID: 347051
Would like some links to websites/publications on recent Sociological
& Psychological Marriage Statistics (last 10 years).  The following
topics should be considered:

-General Marriage Statistics
-Interracial Marriage Statistics
-Gay Marriage Statistics
-Divorce Statistics
-Co-habitation Statistics
-Statistics on Infidelity/long-term marriages

A winning answer will include most of the research on General Marriage
Statistics with approx. 5-10 sources.  The other topics should have
approx. 5 sources each depending on the availability of information.
Other topics may be explored.  Each source should include a short
annotation (approx. 3-5 sentences).  Please don?t bother with
explanations, or other writing.  Just the links/sources with
annotations are necessary.  Please categorize.

Here are some sites that I quickly compiled, feel free to use these to
get started.  If you have other sources that provide better data, you
may ignore these in your answer.


Interracial Marriage Statistics for Asians:

General Government Marriage Statistics


Divorce Rates (United States) 

Divorce Rates (Non-US) 


Traumatic Life Events
Subject: Re: Marriage Statistics
Answered By: umiat-ga on 26 May 2004 21:35 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello, aluchsinger-ga!  

 I have worked on your question for several days and found it
surprisingly hard to find many statistics which were not merely
repeats of one another. While there are numerous articles and opinions
on the web concerning each of these particular aspects of marriage,
most of them do not include statistics. Those articles which do
contain numbers are either too old, or repeat the same (or similar)
statistics. After all, statistical studies are not too common, so
other than the census reports and a few limited research studies, the
numbers tend to remain the same even though the articles may be

 Gay marriage was a challenge, especially since it is a new and
controversial issue in the United States. There are limited statistics
concerning this issues since gay marriage has not really taken hold.
Statistics on infidelity were also very difficult to find, and each
article admitted the dearth of reliable numbers concerning this issue.
Some of the numbers concerning long-term marriage can be found under
the traditional marriage links.

 Aside from the cites you referenced, I believe I have found some good
information for you. Even though a few references include older
numbers, I have cited them because they also include newer information
or unusual insights.

 Since your subject was so broad, I was not clear about whether you
wanted all these references centered on the United States or to
include other countries as well. Since I did note that you included
some non-US references, I also included a few in my answer.


1. "Who Wants To Marry A Soul Mate? New Survey Findings on Young
Adults? Attitudes about Love and Marriage," by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead
and David Popenoe. National Marriage Project. (2001)

While this is primarily a sociological study concerning the attitudes
of single young adults toward marriage, it also contains statistics
about marriage in the United States. Statistics show that marriage
rates are declining over time (although the most recent data is from
1996 - 8 years ago) Data concerning percentage of persons age 15 or
older by sex and race is included through the year 2000. Percentage
statistics on marriage "happiness" are also included.


2. "General information on marital status." Excerpt from Statistics.
Alternatives to Marriage Project.

This section includes statistics relating to Median Age at First
Marriage and Marital Status of Adults for the decades starting at 1890
through 2000. Data from the year 2000 showed that 44% of American
adults were currently unmarried. The information also revealed that
31% of men and 25% of women ages 15 and over were unmarried in 2000.


3. "Number, Timing and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 1996
(Issued Feb. 2002) by Rose M. Kreider and Jason M. Fields. US Census

Portions of the statistical data in this report are unique, despite
the fact that the data stems from a 1996 report. Since the government
stopped collecting detailed information pertaining to characteristics
of married and divorced people in the United States in 1996, the
demographic information contained in this report still provides
valuable insight. Statistics include percentage of individuals
reaching anniversary for first and second marriages, percent never
married by age, race and ethnicity, number of times married for people
45 and older by race and ethnicity, currently married women by age
relative to husband's age, and lifetime projected experience of
marital events.


4. "The shocking state of Black marriage: experts say many will never
get married," by Joy Bennett Kinnon. Ebony. November 2003.

Statistics for black marriages is contrasted between those of whites,
Hispanics and Asians in the United States. The article points out that
the number of black married couples in the United States is only half
that of white married couples. Another alarming statistic concerns the
increase in numbers of black men and women who have never been


5. "Families and Households." TRENDS IN EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA. The
Statistical Yearbook of the Economic Commission for Europe 2003

Short paragraphs of statistical information includes information on
Marriages and Divorces, Age at first marriage, and Marital Status.
Overall marriage rates in the region are showing a decline in the past
two decades. Age at first marriage is increasing by several years. In
countries where statistics are available, there are more divorced
women than men. (Must register to view tables)


6. "Crude Marriage Rates for Selected Countries (per 1,000
population)." Turkish Report.

This table provides marriage rates by country for the years 1990,
1997, 1998 and 1999. The United States tops the list with the highest
rates, followed by Portugal, Romania and Denmark. Lowest rates are for
Sweden, Belgium and Bulgaria. Note that there are only twenty-eight
countries on the list.


7. "World Marriage Patterns 2000." Population Division of the
Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

This wall chart entitled "World Marriage Patterns 2000", shows the
most recent data on the timing and prevalence of marriage for 199
countries or areas. Average age at marriage between men and women is
depicted. Men are generally older when they first marry as compared to


8. "Marriage IV: Patterns and Trends." MSN Encarta

This section provides a good summary of marriage trends in the United
States, Canada and other countries. Statistics are available for
marriage and divorce, and other subjects are discussed in general
terms. The United States is still a standout in terms of marriage and
divorce rates, although marriage rates are on the decline.


9. "Marriage Rate: Top 100 Countries." (United Nations, Monthly
Bulletin of Statistics, April 2001)

This site displays a colored map and listing of marriage rates by
country for 2001. The United State, Russia and the Czech Republic are
the top three. Ireland, Sweden and Finland are at the bottom of the


10. "Asian families stay together." Scripps Howard News Service

Asian American families tend to have lower divorce rates than other
ethnicities, based primarily on tradition and the newness of the
concept of divorce in that racial group. Second to Asian Americans are
Non-Hispanics whites. The Census Bureau reports reveal that 84 percent
of all Asian-American children in 1997 were living with both parents,
followed by 77 percent of non-Hispanic white children. The article
includes more statistics.


1. "Hispanic Origin and Race of Coupled Households." US Census 2000

Statistical Table 1 from the US Census provides information pertaining
to interracial marriage among Hispanics in the United States. Table 1
provides information regarding the Hispanic Origin and Race of the
Wife and Husband in Married-Couple households. Races include White,
Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Other
Pacific Islander, and "some other race."


2. "Interracial Marriage Gender Gap Grows," by Steve Sailer. UPI.
March 14, 2003. Model Minority.

The article provides some statistical comparisons of interracial
marriages in the United States in 1990 and 2000. The 2000 Census show
that the interracial marriage "gender gap" endured by black women and
Asian men may have worsened since 1990. Black men have a greater
tendency to marry white women than black women have to marry white
men. Statistics reveal that in 73 percent of black-white couples, the
husband is black. Asian women are also more prone to marry white men,
compared to Asian men marrying white women. Just over 75 percent of
white-Asian couples featured a white husband and Asian wife.

3. "Crossing Racial Boundaries: Changes of Interracial Marriage in
America, 1990-2000," by Zhenchao Qian and Daniel T. Lichter. Ohio
State University. (Paper to be presented at the annual meetings of the
Population Association of America, Boston, MA, April 1-3, 2004)

Based on the premise that "trends in interracial marriage provide an
indirect indicator of changes in race relations and intergroup social
distance in America," the researchers used census data to examine a
decade of marital changes among whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians and
American Indians. Sociological changes are examined along with the
census data. The change in the 2000 census showed numbers of American
Indian-white marriages to be affected most by the newer multiracial


4. "Color-Blind Love," by Tim Padgett and Frank Sikora." Time Online
Edition. Feb. 16, 2004,12422,589538,00.html

There are currently more than 2 million interracial marriages,
accounting for about 5% of all marriages in the United States.
Black/white marriages account for approximately half a million.
Individuals in mixed marriages are likely to have a 30% higher
increase in stress, according to a University of Houston study.


1. "Census 2000." Gay-Civil-Unions.

This is a state by state statistical chart of same sex household
partnerships in the United States and Puerto Rico from the 2000
Census. The Census recorded a total of 304,148 male householders and
male partner and a total of 297,061 female householders and female
partner. The total number of householders with same-sex partnerships
was 601,209.


2. "Analysis: Gay marriage around the globe," by Steve Sailer. UPI
National Correspondent.Published 7/15/2003

This article is primarily an overview of gay marriage in countries
throughout the world. The only actual statistics are for the
Netherlands, where 2,400 single-sex couples married in the latter half
of 2001. In 2002, that number fell to 1,900, compared to 85,500
male-female marriages in the Netherlands.


3. "2000 Census information on Gay and Lesbian Couples." Gay Demographics.

This reference compiles statistics on same-sex couples from the 2000
Census, the 2001 Supplementary and estimates from the American
Community Survey, 2002. A map provides a visual reference of same sex
couples by state. A secondary map provides a visual overview of
same-sex couples by county.


4. "Census shows more same-sex couples in Minnesota," by Art Hughes.
Minnesota Public Radio. August 1, 2001

A focus on Minnesota reveals that nearly 1 percent of couples are of
the same sex, according to the 2000 Census. These numbers are
considered low due to the fear of backlash if sexual orientation is
made public. More than half of Minnesota's gay couples live in the
Twin Cities. The contrast between the 1990 and 2000 Census is
highlighted -  a 67 percent increase in same-sex couples in the US
over ten years.


5. "In Netherlands, slow road advised for gay marriage," by Charles M.
Sennott. 3/8/2004.

This overview of gay marriage and gay civil unions contains only one
recent statistic. About 6000 gay couples have legalized their
marriages in the Netherlands since April 1, 2001. Prominent Dutch
proponents of gay marriage warn the US against moving too fast and
encourage allowing more time to talk about the issue. The fact that
the traditional institution of marriage has not been hampered by gay
marriages in the Netherlands is discussed.


1. "US Divorce Statistics." Divorce Magazine. (2002 except where noted)

This compilation of statistics includes a wealth of information about
divorce in the United States. Statistics include information about
divorce by age, duration of marriage, likelihood of remarriage,
cohabitation, religious affiliation, etc. Other sections include
statistics relating to divorce and parenting, and divorce and


2. "U.S. DIVORCE RATES: For various faith groups, age groups, &
geographic areas," by B.A. Robinson. Religious (Latest
update: 2002-MAR-20)

Statistics cover divorce rates by age, area of the United States and
religious affiliation. Percentages of divorce among Jews, Born-again
Christians, Other Christians, Atheists and Agnostics are included.
Divorce rates in Oklahoma and Arkansas, specifically, are also


3. "Divorce rate (Top 100 Countries)."

This colored map shows the rate of divorce in countries throughout the
world. The United States tops the list.


4. "Highest Divorce Rates in the World." Aneki

A short list of the top ten countries with the highest divorce rates.
While there is no date for these statistics, the US statistic is not
far off from the Nationmaster site. Only the Maldives and Belarus top
the United States.


5. "America's Most (and Least) Stressful Cities: Sperling's BestPlaces
ranks 331 Metro Areas with a New Stress Index." January 9, 2004.

This overview of the characteristics of various cities in the United
States provides some insight into those areas with the highest divorce
rates coupled with other factors. Interestingly, the survey showed
that those areas with a high percentage of divorced residents was
matched with a high suicide rate. While actual statistical numbers are
lacking, Tacoma, Washington had one of the highest divorce rate
coupled with one of the highest unemployment rates. Las Vegas has the
highest divorce rate overall, a high suicide rate and a large alcohol


6. "Baptists Highest, Athiests lowest divorce rates." Associated Press. 12/30/99

Baptists have the highest divorce rate of any Christian denomination.
According to a survey by the Barna Research group, they are more
likely to get a divorce than atheists and agnostics. Divorce rates
vary among the other Christian denominations. Divorce statistics for
Whites, African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians are also included.


7. From

This is a compilation of statistics on divorce and other surrounding
issues for several countries. The United States, Canada, England,
Australia, and New Zealand are discussed. Numerous statistical
highlights are included under each country heading.


8. "7-year high for divorce rates," by John Carvel. Guardian
Unlimited. August 29, 2003.,3604,1031412,00.html

The social and economic pressures on marriages in England and Wales is
pushing many couples into divorce. While social trends have led to a
decline in marriage during the past several years, divorces among
those who are married continue to rise. By 2002, divorces had reached
their highest numbers since 1996.


1. "Unmarried Couple Households, by Presence of Children." 1960 to
Present. U.S. Census Bureau. June 12, 2003

The statistics compiled include information pertaining to children of
cohabitating couples in the United States. Numbers are supplied for
unmarried adults of the opposite sex inhabiting a household with or
without children under fifteen years, and with or without children
under eighteen years of age. Data goes as far back as 1960 for
children in the fifteen-year-old age group, and back to 1996 for those
unmarried couples with children in the eighteen-year old group.


2. "Who Wants To Marry A Soul Mate? New Survey Findings on Young
Adults? Attitudes about Love and Marriage," by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead
and David Popenoe. National Marriage Project. (2001)

A section of this report provides a statistical overview of
cohabitation in the United States. The percentage of co-habitating
individuals is included as well as the sociological issues surround
co-habitation. Age, education and relation to first marriages are


3. "Should We Live Together? What Young Adults Need to Know about
Cohabitation before Marriage. (A Comprehensive Review of Recent
Research)" by David Popenoe and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead. The Marriage

About half of all marriages in the United States are now proceeded by
cohabitation. It is also becoming a widely accepted practice, looked
upon by teenagers as a "good idea" before marriage. In fact, a 1997
study at University of Pennsylvania found that cohabitation increased
younger adults acceptance of divorce. Several statistics are included
in this paper.


4. "Cohabitation (unmarried partner households)" and "More about
unmarried different-sex couples." Alternatives to Marriage Project.

The discussion on non-married partner households includes the normal
2000 Census statistics, but also discusses the percentage of women of
various ages who have cohabited with a partner. Further data includes
children of cohabiting couples. The percentage of couple who marry
after cohabitation, the number of years of cohabitation preceded by
marriage and more general statistics are discussed.


5. "Recent Trends in Marriage Patterns in Canada," by Zheng Wu. The
Family. 1998.

Marriage rates in Canada are declining due to several factors,
according to a paper by Zheng Wu from the Department of Sociology at
the University of Victoria, British Columbia. The rise in cohabitation
is one factor considered to be important. Rise in economic equality
among women is another factor set forth. The trend to stay in school
longer by both sexes is considered another strong factor affecting
marriage. The author sees no reversal of the trend.


1. Infidelity Check

This is a short compilation of a few miscellaneous statistics from
various sources involving infidelity, the internet and cybersex.
According to source Dr. Bob Lanier, up to 37% of men and 22% of women
admit to having affairs. If one considers cybersex to be a  component
of infidelity, "one in 10 respondents said they are addicted to sex
and the Internet, according to an online survey of 38,000 Internet


2. "Affairs rare despite rumored popularity," by Karen S. Peterson. USA TODAY
December 21, 1998

This article highlights statistics from a 1994 study, followed by a
few statistics from another more recent study by Joseph Catania, a
behavioral epidemiologist (unpublished at that time). The research by
Catania shows that about 24% of men and 14% of women have had sex
outside their marriages. A co-author of the study, John Gagnon of the
State University of New York at Stony Brook, points out that most
studies performed over the last few years have resulted in similar


3. "Unmushing Marital Infidelity Numbers." Dust in the Light. 08/06/2003

This is a short analysis of statistics involving infidelity among
heterosexual and homosexual individuals. The article provides a
further interpretation of numbers, contrasting the 24% statistic
presented by Catania with a study concerning HIV and extramarital
affairs by Choi, Catania, and Dolcini (1994). According to the
author's interpretation of the two studies, the percentage for
extramarital sex is closer to 2.4% than 24%.


4. "Today's Alternative Marriage Styles: The Case of Swingers," by Dr.
Curtis Bergstrand and Jennifer Blevins Williams. Electronic Journal of
Human Sexuality, Volume 3, Oct. 10, 2000 

This study on "mutual infidelity" includes the results of a national
survey of 1092 swingers and their views on politics, sex, marriage,
family, and how swinging has affected their relationships with their
partners. The paper includes twenty-one tables of statistics regarding
different issues involved with swinging. Survey results show that
swingers tend to view their marriages as stronger, happier and more


"Age-At-Marriage Patterns Can Emerge From Individual Mate-Search
Heuristics," by Peter. M. Todd, Francesco C. Billari and Jorge Simao.

This paper takes another look at the distribution of age at first
marriage across several countries. Statistics in tables are as recent
as 1998. Figure 1 provides the only statistical picture in the report,
including the countries of Norway and Romania.


"Racial and Ethnic Variations in Marital Quality: A Comparison of
Blacks, Whites, and Mexican Americans," by Jennifer M. Roebuck.
Bowling Green State University.

Power point link is virtually unreadable unless printed out, but
includes several statistical tables that the html version does not. 


"What's Happening to Marriage? Essay from State of Our Unions: The
Social Health of Marriage in America, 1999. The Marriage Project. 


 I hope these links provide the extra information you seek. I did not
include your references in my answer. They are great sources, so I did
not want to repeat them. Instead, I merely added my own to what you
had already found.

 As always, please don't hesitate to ask for additional clarification
if necessary. I will be happy to help if I can.


Google Search Strategy
statistics on US marriage
marriages in the US
interracial marriage statistics
gay marriage statistics
global statistics on gay partnerships
statistics on infidelity
statistics on marital affairs
Catania infidelity
marriage statistics countries world
World Marriage Patterns 2000
highest rates of divorce
stress of interracial marriage

Clarification of Answer by umiat-ga on 27 May 2004 23:08 PDT
I noticed that a few of the links are not highlighted. All you need to
do is copy and paste the URL into your search box.....or, copy the
title and when it comes up, click on the cached version.

Sorry about that!
aluchsinger-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Excellent research.  Just what I needed.  I was surprised as to how
much time/effort was put into it.  Thanks for your assistance!

Subject: Re: Marriage Statistics
From: moulon-ga on 09 Mar 2005 11:41 PST
I found this about swingers its a very interesting read -

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