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Study: Childless Marriages Don’t Last

wedding-rings-sm250A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control reveals some surprising statistics about love marriage.  Namely, if you want your love to last, get married.  And then have some children. 

The Marriage and Cohabitation Study, which began in 2002, tracked the relationships of 12,571 men and women ages 15 to 44.  Of those, over 40 percent were married and 9 percent were living together.

Newly released data taken from this representative sample of U.S. couples finds that of those who were married, 78% remained so after five years.  Of those who were cohabitating without the benefit of a legal union, only 30% were still living together as an unmarried couple after five years.  But those numbers are a little misleading.   The reason about half of those cohabitations ended was because those couple got married within three years.

That’s all very interesting, but the most surprising statistic has to do with starting a family.  Women who gave birth 8 months or more after getting married were 79% more likely to celebrate a ten year anniversary.  Those who had already conceived a child prior to getting married had a 54% chance of making it to ten years.  And those who had a baby before marriage had a 55% chance of lasting ten years.

But what about couples who had no children at all?  According to the study, the marriages in which no children were born only had a 34% chance of making it to ten years.

There is a lot of information in the report that delves even deeper into marriage and cohabitation in America, but the upshot seems to be this: Married couples tend to stay together longer but living together leads to marriage about half the time.  And for couples who do marry, waiting until after the wedding to have children improves the odds of staying together.

Image: cliff1066/Flickr

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