Figures show correlation between age gap and rates of divorce

A new study suggests that a greater age gap does make it more likely that a couple’s marriage will end in divorce.

Scientist Randal Olson has analysed data previously collated by America’s Emory University, which surveyed 3000 married couples.

He found that a relationship where both parties were of a similar age was far less likely to break down; a trend which has previously been identified by studies in the UK.

If the age gap was ten years then a couple were 39 per cent more likely to divorce, if the difference was 20 years then the chances of a pair parting ways rose by 95 per cent.

It is thought that differing interests and health problems that can affect the older partner in later life are among the reasons that these couples are more likely to part ways.

The figures show that couples who have different levels of education are also more likely to split.

On the other side of the coin, the figures do suggest that having a child together makes a marriage more likely to last.

And Mr Olson said that there was also good news for those who exchanged their vows a long time ago.

“The longer your marriage lasts, the less likely you are to divorce,” he said. “Couples who stay together for 10 years are 94% less likely to divorce than couples who were just married.