The Nation

May 18, 2011 3:51 PM by Greg Boyce

Census: 7th year is bad year for marriages

WASHINGTON (AP) - New census figures show the "seven-year" itch persists - couples who break up typically separate upon seven years of marriage, and divorce a year later.

The 2009 data released Wednesday also show U.S. divorces are leveling off after decades of increases. The census report found that among all race groups, women who were ever married and then divorced reached as high as 41 percent among 50- to 59-year-olds. That's down from 44 percent in 2004.

The exception was black women ages 50 to 59. Their divorce rate edged up to 48 percent. Rose Kreider, a census demographer, says recent increases in
couples cohabitating as well as rising median ages before marriage are contributing to overall declines in divorce as people wait longer before making long-term commitments.

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