Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Divorce Calculator

Via Digg (I know, I shouldn't be looking at Digg), I came across a link to a divorce calculator. The calculator uses census data to determine the likelihood that people who share the same background, characteristics and history as you will divorce. I guess the idea is to shake people out of the lala-land mindset they tend to have when they marry. After all, no one ever marries thinking that divorce is likely... at least they don't if they're sane.

While I'm sure people will say everyone feels they are an exception, I'm certain I will never divorce. The CH and I are just too compatible and into each other to ever part. Hell, I hate it when he has to leave the house for work and we're apart for hours. I'm not even very happy with the fact that he has to leave the room to go to the bathroom sometimes. ;-) I'm probably the only person in Japan who feels one of the "up" sides to living in a tiny apartment is that I can see and talk to my husband almost all the time when he's home because neither of us has any privacy.

At any rate, the interesting thing about these calculators isn't so much that they tell you the chance that you will divorce, but rather how changing a few variables effects the outcome. The stats that are used are:
  1. gender (Female)
  2. whether or not you have children (if you are female) (No)
  3. the year you married (1989)
  4. your education (university graduate)
  5. your age when you married (24)
  6. how long you've been married (19 years)
For a person in my situation, the chances of divorce are 32%. However, if you answer "yes" to the children question but leave all of the other stats the same, the chance of divorce drops to 23%. This would seem to point to the idea that women would divorce more often if they didn't have kids. If I leave all the stats the same as my original information, but lower the educational level to "high school graduate", the chances increase to 39%. The biggest difference though comes if I, again leaving all the stats the same, lower the age of marriage to 22 or younger. If I do that, the chances shoot up to 66%

I did truthful stats for my husband and it said his chances are 22%. I'm guessing this is mainly because he's 2 years older than I and the older one marries, the less likely it seems one might divorce. When I increased the age (for a male with his stats) to marriage after 33, the chances of divorce dropped to 12%.

Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn't met the CH. I'm guessing there's a decent chance I might have ended up divorced since that seems to be what has happened to about 1/3 of women in my shoes. There are two things of which I'm absolutely certain that can be said about my life if I hadn't met my husband. One is that I never would have ended up living in Japan. The other is that I never would have known such happiness with someone else. Of course, fact 1 has had no effect on fact 2, but both are the direct result of having met the CH.


Sherry said...

I tried it and I got 6% for people of similar backgrounds who are already divorced and 7% who will be divorced in the next 5 years. I input DH's info and he was at 10% for already divorced and 4% for divorced in the next five years.

I don't think we will ever get divorced because we are both just far too lazy. It took us 12 years to get married in the first place. LOL!

Orchid64 said...

The age at which you married has a profound effect on the likelihood of divorce. The younger you were, the higher it appears to be. I'm guessing that my being 24 when I married had a lot to do with the numbers. Ironically, when I married, 24 was considered to be normally to marginally late for marriage. Now, it'd be considered rather early.

Thanks for your comment. :-)

Emsk said...

Interesting how things change, and indeed how things vary between western countries. In the UK, marriage at 24 has been considered early for a long time. However, my sister - whose hubbie is American - tells me that American people tend to marry earlier than us nowadays amyway. But what a change from our parents' generations! My mum and dad were 17 and 19 respectively when they married (I was on the way!).

I'd say that the average age for a first marriage in the UK is late 20s/early 30s nowadays. Not that we should pay too much heed to these figures. If you meet the man/woman you want to spend your life with at 18, why not marry them if that's what you want to do? But when I was in my 20s, many of my girlfriends would say they were quite sad they'd met the men they were currently in love with then because they felt they had more life to lead before they settled down. My sister was 23 when she married hubbie, and she did wonder if she might be a bit young. But if she hadn't met him then he might have met someone else, and then, to paraphrase that Carrie Fisher line from When Harry Met Sally, she might've had to spend her life knowing that someone else was married to her husband!

As for me, I married at 28 and started divorce proceedings at 34. Next time it'll have to be for good.

CMUwriter said...

I love digg and am proud to say I use it everyday. How was your thanksgiving? With the rate I'm going (unmarried at 26) I'll never get divorced!

Kelly said...

I got 22% and Yasu got 10%, possibly as he's 3 years older than me.

I'd like to know the info for people of different backgrounds though.

I got married at 25, which used to be considered quite old. Now though it appears to be quite a young age to get married. People are waiting longer it seems to tie the knot.