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Contact: Robert Bernstein
Public Information Office
Among all people 15 and older in 2009, 55 percent had been married once, with 30 percent never having been married at all, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today. At the same time, 15 percent had married more than once, including 12 percent who had married twice and 3 percent who had married three or more times.
“The findings come from Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 2009 [PDF], which uses data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation to provide a look at topics such as changes in the age at marriage, divorce and remarriage over the years, how long first marriages last, people who have been married multiple times, those who have been divorced or experienced other marital events, and the percentage of currently married couples that include spouses who are both in their first marriage.
More than half of currently married couples (55 percent) had been married for at least 15 years, while 35 percent had reached their 25th anniversary. A small percentage — 6 percent — had even passed their golden (50th) wedding anniversary. These percentages are about 1 to 2 percentage points higher than they were in 1996, reflecting both the leveling of divorce rates and increases in life expectancy.
For most couples (72 percent), both spouses were in their first marriage. Six percent of those married included a wife in her second marriage and husband in his first, 8 percent a husband in his second marriage and wife in her first, and 8 percent in which both spouses were in their second marriage. A small percentage of all currently married couples (1 percent) consisted of a husband and wife who had both been married three or more times.