The probability of divorce and the marriage age: Slovakian experience

Karol Pastor, Comenius University Bratislava

The present paper was inspired by the paradox, that despite of the increasing marriage age in Slovakia in the last two decades, the marriages are not more stable and the number of divorces is growing. Therefore, the dependency between the probability of divorcing the marriage (e.g. within next 10 years) and the age of bride and groom at marriage is investigated. The study is based on Slovakian data collected by the Statistical office. Some of them had to be re-sorted by means of Sprague multipliers. The resulting estimations have to be adjusted by some proper smoothing algorithm. The investigations confirmed that the probability of divorce is extremely high for very young newly married couples, but it quickly declines with the increasing marriage age. For the marriage cohort 1980, this probability has the minimum between ages 18 and 21 for brides, and between 21 and 25 for grooms. For the marriage cohorts from the middle of 1990´s this minimum is flatter and shifted between ages 24 and 29 for grooms, and three years less for brides. After this minimum, the probability of divorce slowly grows to approximately marriage age 40. Then it declines again because for the older brides and grooms the probability of one partner’s death is getting significant. In the paper, the optimal age difference for newly married couple is studied, too. It was shown that if this difference is not too great, it does not influence the probability of divorce.

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Presented in Poster Session 1