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The Bigger The Age Gap, The Greater The Risk Of Divorce

A study from Emory University suggests the bigger the age gap, the less likely a marriage will succeed, and even a one-year difference could matter.
Posted at 2:23 PM, Nov 10, 2014

Ready for some more depressing statistics on how unlikely a marriage is to succeed?

Research from Emory University shows the bigger the age gap in a marriage, the more likely that couple isn't going to last. 

Now, at first that might sound like it makes sense. But according to this research, even being as little as one year apart can matter. 

AMY ROBACH FOR ABC: "Uh oh. ... I'm at six. ... Andrew doesn't appreciate '80s music the way I do. It has been a big point of conflict for us."

OK, at least Amy Robach can laugh the data off when it comes to her marriage. The study was published in September, but a writer recently broke down some of the stats and brought the news in an easier-to-read format. 

Randal Olson is the one who analyzed the stats from Emory, making a graph that shows couples with a five-year gap in age are 18 percent more likely to divorce, and those with a 30-year gap in age are a whopping 172 percent more likely to divorce. But even just being one year apart puts you at a 3 percent higher divorce rate. 

Although according to the knower of all things, Facebook, those low age gaps are pretty common. The company used its data for this analysis earlier this year.

"Internationally the male partner is on average 2.40 years older than the female. In 67% of relationships, the male is older than the female, compared to 20% where the female is older and 13% where the partners are the same age."

And to top that, Female First said the perfect age gap for couples is four years and four months, although this wasn't very scientific — it was just a questionnaire of 2,000 people's opinions. 

The Emory study also noted staying together longer increased your odds of not divorcing. Couples that have been together five years are 76 percent less likely to head to divorce court. 

The study also shows a couple other factors associated with an increase and decrease in the length of marriages, like how much money was spent on the wedding, how many guests attended and whether the couple attends church. 

Spending more money was associated with a higher chance of divorce, while the more guests that attended, the lower the odds. And couples that regularly attended church also saw a decrease in the odds of divorcing. 

This video includes images from Getty Images.