While the rate of divorce has dropped in the United States because people are marrying later in life, so too has the rate of second marriages.
Marriage is a huge commitment, one that should not be entered into lightly, and one that should not be exited lightly.
Remarriage is no different, although it has the benefit of being a known institution among those remarrying. There aren’t as many surprises involved.
However, just as marriage rates are down and Americans are marrying for the first time much later in life, new data shows that divorced Americans are not remarrying at the same rate they did previously.
Also noteworthy in the new data is that it is divorced men who are more likely to remarry than divorced women.
These statistics come from the Council on Contemporary Families, which has released study information from 2013 that shows the surprising change in rates of remarriage.
First, some preliminary numbers. Recent statistics show that the average age of first marriages in American has risen to 27 years of age for women and 29 for men. The rate of divorce, which jumped to almost 50 percent of all marriages near the turn of the century, has dropped to closer to one-third, thanks in part to the increased wait time for first marriages among most Americans.
However, the current rate of remarriage is such that four out of 10 marriages today include at least one person who is marrying again, and 20 percent of today’s marriages involve two people who are marrying again.
According to the Council on Contemporary Families, the rate of remarriage has dropped by 40 percent from 1990 to 2013, where only 28 percent of previously married men or women are getting remarried.
“Americans are fairly optimistic about marriage,’’ said Wendy Manning, the co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, which conducted the report for the Council on Contemporary Families. “Americans are unique in that once they get divorced, they are much more likely to remarry than people in other countries.”
According to the study, of those once-married Americans taking a second plunge, men are twice as likely to do so as women.
Manning said American laws promote marriage, whether it is a first time or second time affair.
“A lot of our benefits in society are based on marital status,’’ Manning said. “So if you are married, you get somebody’s life insurance, social security benefits, health benefits. In other countries, those things are provided regardless of whether or not you are married.”
The numbers reflect a difference in the lifestyles of men and women today. Previously, a divorced woman relied on a husband’s income, causing her to seriously consider remarrying. But, now that women have made such inroads not only in having jobs but in having financially significant jobs, the need to remarry is not as great.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.