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Remarriage - Factors Affecting Likelihood Of Remarriage After Divorce Or Death Of Spouse

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Factors Affecting Likelihood of Remarriage after Divorce or Death of Spouse

In the United States where research on families is extensive, remarried life is understood better. Sex differences and race differences exist in rates of remarriage in the United States. Compared with women, men remarry sooner and more often and generally marry someone a few years younger. The more education and resources a man has, the more likely he is to remarry. Conversely, for women, having more education and resources and being older mean less likelihood of remarriage in general. However, women with high status employment who divorce when they are older tend to remarry more quickly. Hispanic/Latino Americans remarry slightly less frequently and African Americans remarry much less frequently than white, non-Hispanic Americans. It is not clear if these differences are a due to cultural, religious, or economic factors, or some combination of the three.

Being a parent lowers the likelihood of remarriage for women and men, but the effect of parenthood is greater for women. With respect to parenthood in the remarriage, about half of women in remarriages give birth to at least one child, and this usually happens within the first two years of the remarriage. Not surprising, as people age, the frequencies of remarrying and of re-divorcing decrease. However, in the twenty-first century, the numbers of later-life remarriages are expected to increase, as the baby boom generation will be living longer and healthier lives. When remarriage occurs after the death of a spouse, widowed men marry much sooner than widowed women, but all widowed people are much slower to remarry than divorced people.

In addition to the above statistics, which are based on the heterosexual population, unknown numbers of gay, lesbian, and bisexual couples have similar patterns of coupling, uncoupling, and re-coupling. Because there is no legal record of the coupling transitions of these groups, since they cannot legally marry or divorce, virtually nothing is known about the demographics of couple transitions among gays and lesbians, although many have wedding ceremonies and consider themselves to be married.

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