Tuesday | 13 March, 2007

Divorce Rates: the seven-year-itch?

According to popular lore, marriages often break up after around seven years. What does the Georgian data say? How long have those who are getting divorced typically been married?

Georgian data does not support the seven-year itch hypothesis. Divorces seem to be pretty equally distributed across the years, with some fluctuations, year-by-year.

In some ways, a fairly high number of divorces still takes place after 15 years (according to the data, the number of couples breaking up after more than 20 years is the single largest group of divorcees, but it consolidates all 20+ data).

As for the total divorce number, it has remained stable from 2001 to 2005, at around 1900 divorces per year. By comparison, around 13.000 people married annually, with an upward tendency more recently (2005 a bumper year, with 18.012 marriages).

According to one divorce league table (some inconsistency here), Georgia has about 12% divorces per marriage, Azerbaijan 15%, Armenia at 18%. Matrimonial harmony, or at least stubborn persistence, compared to Kyrgyzstan (25), Kazakhstan (39), United States (41), Russia (65) or Belarus (69). Take another league table in which divorces are listed by 1000 people, and the US comes first in divorces (4.95), Russia third (3.36), and Georgia would still come below Syria, with less than 0.5 divorces per 1000 people.

The Georgian data, and much more engaging information, is available on these pages of the Georgian Department of Statistics.