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21 August, 2008

THE GOLDEN LANDMARK?

Rosanne and I will settle for "tin"

Young couples tying the matrimonial knot today have a better than three out of 10 chance of living long enough to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. Research some time ago revealed that the odds for a 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman (a median age for marriage) surviving 50 years of marriage had climbed from 140 per 1,000 marriages 85 years ago to 350 today. Of course, people are living longer too.

The not so good news is that more and more people are divorcing long before they reach the golden landmark. The national divorce rate has more than tripled during the past 70 years. Yet because most people who divorce marry again (75 per cent of the women and 80 per cent of the men) the prospects of reaching less distant marital milestones have also improved.

For example, the chances of a 35-year-old bridegroom and 30-year-old bride celebrating a silver anniversary are about seven out of 10, which are better odds than those for even a very young couple at the turn of the last century.

It follows then that a couple marrying at age 65 today can look forward to their tin anniversary, or at least 10 years of marriage. If we mind our Ps and Qs, Rosanne and I can look forward to collecting some of that tin in four years' time.

I will be writing more about marriage and mothers and fathers in the next couple of Wrights Lane posts.

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