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40% first marriages end in divorce

Published : 18 Nov 2019, 01:54

Updated : 18 Nov 2019, 01:56

  DF Report

A marriage administration programme. Photo Visit Finland.

The probability that a woman’s first marriage in 2018 ends in divorce was 37 per cent, which is one percentage point lower than in 2017, according to Statistics Finland.

The figure for 2018 was on level with that of the 2005 to 2017, when it varied between 38 and 40 per cent.

An interesting fact is that a first marriage ending in widowhood is slightly more probable than the marriage ending in divorce.

The above-mentioned probabilities are based on the events of one year of opposite-sex married couples based on which the probability that an event takes place is calculated.

In that case, e.g. the divorce rate can be summarised in one figure. Similar results can be reached by examining marriages of opposite-sex couples entered into in a particular year that end in divorce by the duration of the marriage, but in this case, there are as many divorce rates as years in which marriages are entered into.

The overall picture, is that since the 1990s, the divorce rates by the duration of the marriage are very similar and are thus not dependent on the year in which the marriage was entered into. For example, of the marriages entered into in 1990 to 2008, one-fifth had ended in divorce by the ninth year.

However, in recent years there has been some indication that the divorce rate during the early years of marriage might be decreasing slightly.

The risk of divorce grows steeply during the first years of marriage, as the following figure shows.

The risk has been at its highest in the third or fourth year when the divorce rate in difference years of marriage has been examined starting from 1990. After the peak for divorcing is reached, the risk of divorce decreases very similarly in all marriage cohorts.

The figure shows the above-mentioned recent development, based on which the risk of divorce has slightly contracted in the early years of marriage when comparing 2014 and 2017. Coming years will show, whether this contraction is merely random variation.