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CDC releases new findings on divorce predictors, other trends

A new research study in marriage conducted among 22,000 men and women states that nearly half of all first marriages end within 20 years. The study reveals that about 60 percent of all couples now live together before they marry, which in many instances does seem to reduce the chance of divorce.

Researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted the study, which shows trends for first marriages and divorce rates, interviewing men and women aged 15 to 44 over a five-year period from 2006 through 2010.

"It's becoming so common, it's not surprising it no longer negatively affects marital stability," said Wendy Manning, co-director of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Ohio's Bowling Green State University, in reference to couples living together prior to getting married.

The study found that marriages are less likely to be successful at the 10- and 15-year mark among couples who were not engaged or planning to be married when they lived together. The couples who lived together while attending college or starting a career were more likely to be successful, compared to those who lived together for cohabitation only.

The CDC study also concluded that men and women with college degrees are more likely to delay marriage, but are more likely to stay married at least 20 years. Also, more than 70 percent of Asian women are still in their first marriage, compared to a number of 54 percent for white women, 53 percent for Hispanic women and 37 percent for black women. Among men, 62 percent of Hispanic males were still in the first marriage, compared to closely similar and lower marks for black and white males (53 and 54 percent, respectively).

Source: NPR, "Moving in before marriage no longer a bad omen?" March 22, 2012

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