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Divorce has become a common occurrence both in the United States and around the world. According to divorce statistics, it is estimated that between 40 percent and 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce in the United States. In some countries, divorce rates for first marriages exceed 50 percent. Second and third marriages in the United States have even higher divorce rates. According to statistics, second marriages fail at a rate of 60-67 percent, and third marriages fail at a rate of 73-74 percent.

Divorce statistics show that there are number of reasons why marriages fail. According to divorced couples, the number one reason that marriage fails is due to either a lack of communication or poor communication. The second most cited reason for divorce is martial conflicts and arguments. Thirdly, many divorced couples say infidelity led to divorce. While these are the primary reasons cited for divorce, statistics show that there are several underlying factors that contribute to these trends. These factors include, but are not limited to: age, education, income, religion, and cohabitation.

Age

Statistics show that those who get married in their mid to late-twenties are less likely to get divorced that those who marry at a younger age, and that this age group tends to be more satisfied in marriage than those couple who marry later in life. For divorced couples under the age of 20, the women are more likely to initiate the divorce; whereas for divorced couples over the age of 20, the men are more likely to initiate the divorce.

Education and Income

Education and income both play a role in divorce statistics. Data shows that a married couple with a higher education and a higher income is less likely to divorce than a couple with lower education and lower income.

Religion

While several religious denominations show a slightly lower divorce rate of 21-34 percent, other data suggests that those with no religious affiliation have a lower divorce rate than those with reported religious affiliations. It has also been suggested that pastors of local congregations, for various reasons, may not be aware of how many divorced couples are actually in, or have been part of, their congregations.

Cohabitation

Reports suggest that between 40 percent and 85 percent of couples who lived together before getting married had the marriage end in divorce.

Divorce statistics indicate that about one-fourth of adults in the United States have been divorced at least once in their lifetime. Characteristics of individuals that have a higher probability of divorce include:

o younger age at time of marriage
o lower education
o has children from a previous relationship
o cohabitation prior to marriage
o sexual activity prior to marriage

According to divorce statistics, it does not appear that only one factor contributes to a couple's decision to divorce. Although three primary reasons have been identified by divorced couples as the leading causes of divorce, it seems that underlying factors may contribute to these issues as well.

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