Not surprisingly, the United States has one of the highest divorce rates and shortest marriages.
IT IS not a seven year itch: the unlucky number is 13.6. That is the average length of a marriage before a divorce in the mostly rich countries of the OECD. Italians stick it out longest (perhaps because formal separation is lengthy and expensive). Americans, stereotypically impatient, only stay together eight years before divvying up the wedding gifts. Qatar, where polygamy is legal, has both a short length of marriage prior to a divorce and low divorce rate. Across Europe the divorce rate is around 2.5 for every 1,000 people; America’s is 3.6. As for marriage, the rate in many Western countries has long declined, but plateaued in recent years. (In Russia and China the rate has increased). Sobering data as one reflects on the hard work of romance—and a reminder to stoke the flames of those relationships that still burn on this Valentine’s Day.