We get this question all the time and the best we can say is that we don’t know. Based on data produced by the National Survey of Family Growth, 43% of first marriages by women aged 15-44 will end in a “disruption” within 15 years. Disruption is defined as either separation or divorce. As not all separations end in divorce (see Table 33 at the link) is would seem that the 50% figure is an overstatement.
The inestimable Cecil Adams of The Straight Dope takes a look at this “fact” and its probable genesis. While not endorsing this view, anyone writing about marriage and divorce should certainly consider the references he provides.
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