The age difference between you and your spouse could be more than an interesting piece of trivia brought up during family reunions – it could be a significant factor in predicting your marital happiness and risk of divorce. While there are many aspects of your relationship that may act as predictors of divorce, including financial wealth, the length of time you dated before becoming engaged, and how much money you spend on the wedding, a relevant factor that many people don’t consider is the age difference between spouses.
According to a recent study by Andrew M. Francis and Hugo M. Mialon of the Emory University Department of Economics, the closer a couple is in age, the less likely they are to divorce. The study analyzed polling results from over 3,000 married American couples to determine which factors were able to predict marital happiness and success.
Using a multivariate model, the study arrived at numerous conclusions about the elements that affect a marriage. In regards to how the age of two spouses influences their risk of divorce, the study found that there is a significant correlation between wider age gaps and an increased likelihood of divorce, but that even a small age gap could increase a married couple’s odds of breaking up.
The greater the gap in age between spouses, the higher their risk of divorce. Couples with an age difference of 20 years or more have an even worse chance of achieving long-term marital happiness. That’s not to say that couples with drastic age differences can never make it work, but the statistics do demonstrate that they face greater challenges and higher odds of splitting up than individuals who settle down with a partner their own age.