Divorce Over 40 – The Statistics

divorce over 40

Marriage can be a beautiful, life changing thing. It’s a commitment to somebody special in our lives, a signal that our love is real, and we’re ready to settle down with somebody.

However, whilst those things are often true when we get married, life has a way of changing situations on us. Whether it’s by our hand, theirs or a little bit of both, many marriages come to an end. Some are acrimonious, some are friendly and others are merely resigned, but leaving a marriage is a significant change in life.

We need to relearn how to live alone, rediscover our passions and find out what we’re really after. For some of us, that means enjoying a period of solitude, whilst for others it means getting back on the scene as an over 40 dater.

Clearly then, divorce is a part of many of our lives, but what are the statistics behind divorce in the UK? Join us as we share with you the latest figures and facts from the ONS.

You’re most likely to get divorced between 45 and 49

Felt like your friends and family seemed to get divorced in their mid-to-late 40s? You’re not imagining it, it’s a fact. According to numbers from the Office for National Statistics, the most common age to get divorced in 2016 was between 45 and 49.

In total, 16,702 men and 16,159 women got divorced at that age last year. That’s closely followed by those aged between 40 and 44, of whom 15,843 men and 16,100 women found themselves getting divorced last year.

Indeed, the average (mean) age for divorce has increased every year between 1985 and 2015, rising by over 8 years for both men and women.

That could be for any number of reasons, but the fact is you’re most likely to get divorced if you’re in your 40s.

Divorce rates are at their lowest for over 40 years

Despite how often we seem to hear about divorce, the fact is that divorce rates have been steadily falling since 2004, when they hit 13.3 per 1,000 married men and women. Today, they sit at just 8.5 per 1,000 people.

That’s a number not seen since 1973 when the divorce rate dropped slightly to 8.4 per 1,000, following the spike of 1972, which hit 9.5 per 1,000.

So, why does it feel as though divorce is more common than ever before? Quite simply, we talk about it more openly. As a society, we’re now much more comfortable discussing divorce amongst ourselves than we used to be, and so whilst divorce used to be swept under the rug, it’s now a normal and acceptable part of society.

Men get divorced later than women

On average, men get divorced two to three years later than women do, with the average male divorcee in 2015 being 45.9 and the average female divorcee being 43.5. This discrepancy is caused by the fact that men tend to marry women who are younger than themselves, and women marrying older than themselves.

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