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Here’s how long marriages last across the world

POSTED: July 8, 2015 8:09 a.m.
Herb Scribner/

Many Americans believe that half of all marriages end in divorce. But, as Quartz reported late last year, the national divorce rate may not be as high as we think.

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Many Americans believe that half of all marriages end in divorce. But, as Quartz reported late last year, the national divorce rate may not be as high as we think.

“We hear about the rising divorce rate in the news all of the time. This is curious, because as it happens, the divorce rate isn’t rising,” Quartz reported.

In fact, the 50 percent divorce rate may be a myth. The New York Times Upshot reported in 2014 that the divorce surge had peaked and that the amount of American divorces was on the decline.

But what does divorce look like across the world? Hopes and Fears, an international news website, reviewed data from the last decade and found that divorce rates vary from country to country.

“It’s no surprise that divorce rates around the world have exploded over the last few decades,” Hopes and Fears reported. “But how long does it take for most married couples to call it a day? Country by country, the average length of marriages that end in divorce vary greatly, with some not even making it to their 10th anniversary.”

Here’s a look at the 10 countries that Hopes and Fears reviewed.

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Rome, Italy — 18 years

Most marriages in Rome last 18 years. Italy as a whole has a 30.7 percent national divorce rate, Hopes and Fears reported.

Ottawa, Canada — 13.8 years

Statistics Canada found that Ottawa has a lower divorce rate than the rest of Canada (14 years), which has a 48 percent divorce average.

Paris, France — 13 years

Despite 13-year marriages in Paris, France has a national divorce average of 55 percent.

New York City — 12.2 years

New York City’s marriages last about 12 years. In total, 41 percent of New York marriages end in divorce.

Sydney, Australia — 12 years

Hopes and Fears reported that Australians have a 43 percent divorce average, as divorce has become a recent trend for Australians.

Mexico City, Mexico — 12 years

On average, couples in Mexico City are together for 12 years. Mexicans may be staying together longer than that, though, since just 15 percent of the country’s marriages end in divorce.

Tokyo, Japan — 11 years

Most marriages in Tokyo last 11 years. But according to Hopes and Fears’ research, divorce has been on the rise in Japan in recent years, so much so that many marriages don’t make it to the 11-year mark.

London, England — 11 years

About 42 percent of marriages in England end in divorce, with about 34 percent of them not lasting 20 years, Hopes and Fears reported.

Cape Town, South Africa — 11 years

Cape Town marriages last 11 years on average. But South Africa has a 31.2 percent divorce average.

Doha, Qatar — 5.5 years

We’d have to go all the way to Qatar to find the shortest marriages. Marriages in Doha last on average 5.5 years, with 38 percent of marriages in Qatar ending in divorce on average.
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