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Report: Does marrying young increase the chance of divorce?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2022 | Divorce |

No one knows at what age they will fall in love – or get married. When one does get married, their age is often the least of their worries, as they consider the future with their spouse.

However, could the age you get married really affect any chance of divorce? A new North Carolina study considers the question.

What do the statistics say?

A recent report from WCNC found that couples are more likely to divorce if they married younger. The study stated that if couples wed while they were under 25, they had a 27% chance of getting a divorce later in life.

The reason for this chance, however, is surprising. The experts consulted in the report stated that there was a higher chance of divorce because:

  • On average, the human brain is not fully developed until age 25
  • People – their personalities and values – change as their brain develops

Many people are getting married later in life nowadays, whether that is due to personal reasons or external factors. However, that was not always the case.

Does this statistic impact the rise in elder divorce?

Even though this study looked into recent years, this statistic and the matter of brain development could be part of the rise in divorce over 50 nowadays as well. According to the United States Census Bureau, the average age of newlyweds in the 20th century was under 25.

The findings of this study could come into play in elder divorce as well then. For example, when couples who married young reach ages over 50 and have an empty nest, many report that their spouse has changed – or that they have changed. From the time they married and started a family, this could be true considering the matter of brain development. It is simply when they have an empty nest that they face the reality of that change.

Remember: Statistics are not set in stone

Statistics are not the rules. They are only chances. These particular statistics do not necessarily impact your relationship, regardless of when you got married or how old you were when you wed.

Many times, it is the changing values or certain actions within the relationship that lead to a divorce, such as:

  • Differing financial values
  • Varying familial values
  • Infidelity or abuse

Considering the effect of brain development is an interesting perspective. However, the reasons for divorce are intensely personal. They are not statistics.