National Edition

More divorced, widowed Americans choosing to stay single

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18 2013 6:20 p.m. MDT

The remarriage rate among Americans who have been divorced or widowed has fallen 40 percent over the past 20 years, according to federal numbers provided to USA Today.

Shutterstock

Enlarge photo»

More divorced or widowed Americans are choosing not to tie the knot again, according to analysis of federal data provided to USA Today.

It found that remarriage has dropped nearly 40 percent over 20 years, from 50 per 1,000 in 1990 to 29 per 1,000 in 2011.

"Pretty much everyone, regardless of age, is less likely to get remarried than in the past," sociologist Susan Brown, lead author on the analysis by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, told USA Today's Sharon Jayson.

The decline held true across all age categories but was greatest among those younger than 35. Researchers said that cohabitation and older ages for first marriage both contribute to the trend.

Still, Bowling Green researchers earlier reported that about a third of all marriages in 2010 were remarriages. It said that the remarriage rate was higher for men than for women (43 vs. 23 per 1,000) and that remarriage is most common among those who have at least some college education.

Psychologist Kalman Heller offered advice on Psych Central for making a second marriage work, including taking the time to get to know each other well before tying the knot and being sure that values and beliefs — from religion to money — are "reasonably aligned." He also noted that if the first marriage ended in divorce, it's important to figure out what happened so that issues don't doom a subsequent relationship.

Money's also a remarriage issue that The National Endowment for Financial Education singles out as particularly tricky when people remarry, second perhaps only to how to blend families that include children. Avoiding discussing how they will manage money can have "significant consequences" for couples, the group said in a report called "Marrying Again."

Issues include retirement funds that may be committed to a previous spouse as part of a divorce settlement, child support, debt, spending habits and more.

EMAIL: lois@deseretnews.com, Twitter: Loisco

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS