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Intermarriage Divorce Rates

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One of the most commonly quoted facts about divorce states that just about half of all marriages in America end in divorce. “Half” of all marriages is a vague term; when actual statistics are consulted, some marriages have a far greater success rate than others. Factors like the age of each spouse, income level, number of children and numbers of previous marriages all affect the divorce rate statistics. While an interfaith, inter-race or inter- cultural marriage may have some challenges, it will likely be more impacted by the same factors that affect all marriages. 

General Divorce Statistics

General divorce statistics include all marriages, regardless of the faith or skin color of the bride and groom. The greatest impact on divorce rates overall stems from the age of the spouses at the time of marriage and the number of prior marriages, not on religion or ethnicity.

  • The divorce rate for all first marriages in the United States is 41%. By the time someone is on his or her third marriage, the divorce rate soars to a whopping 73%, so practice does not make perfect. 
  • Marriages face the highest divorce rate when either spouse is under the age of 25 at the time of the wedding. Between 36% and 38% of marriages will end in divorce if one or both spouses is under age 25 when vows are taken. 

Interfaith Marriage and Divorce

An interfaith marriage is a union where the bride and groom have two different religious backgrounds. The parties in an interfaith marriage can each actively practice their own faith, or simply be from different religions and not practice either faith in the home.

Divorce:

  • In general, interfaith marriages have a slightly higher divorce rate than marriages in which both members practice the same faith.
  • The more diverse the religions, the more likely there is to be conflict in the home or divorce. According to a study by the University of Illinois, about 33% of couples in different but similar faith marriages suffer divorce.  Interfaith marriages that include one Catholic and one Christian or Mormon party fall into this category. This divorce rate is lower than the average divorce rate for all couples in the United States.
  • Interfaith marriages that have more religious views suffer a higher divorce rate than their more aligned counterparts. When one spouse is Christian and the other is Jewish, the divorce rate soars to 40%, or just about average for any US couple. 

Inter-Racial Marriage

According to the United States Census, almost 15% of marriages in the year 2008 were inter-racial, meaning the bride was of one race or ethnicity and the groom was of another. 

Divorce:

  • The divorce rate for inter-racial marriages varies widely depending on the race of each spouse and the age and income level of the couple. 
  • Adding children to the marriage may cause conflict due to cultural differences; the divorce rates for inter-racial marriage climb once children are added to the family. 
  • The lowest divorce rate for inter-racial marriages is lower than the divorce rate for all marriages; a union between a Caucasian husband and African-American wife has the best statistical odds, according to marital stability studies performed by the Education Resources Information Center/US Department of Education.

About the Author: Steven Elias currently lives in the great State of Texas and is a freelance writer/graphic designer. He currently runs a website on Dallas wedding photography and wedding photography contracts. You can visit his site at www.thedallasweddingphotographers.net.