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Average duration of marriage at divorce in the Netherlands 2008-2018

Some people complain that these days couples are not willing to invest in their relationship anymore, that the first hurdle encountered is a reason for a separation, and that ‘till death do us part’ does not really mean anything anymore. But whether that is true or not, facts show that people in the Netherlands continuously wait longer to file for a divorce. In the last decade, the average duration of marriage at the time of a divorce has increased by nearly a year, from 14.2 years in 2008 to 15 in 2018. In the 1950s, this was even shorter. In 1950, the average divorced couple had been married for 11.2 years before divorcing.

 Increasing divorce rate

  What also increased between the 1950s and today however was the number of marriage dissolutions. In this period, the number of divorces more than tripled, from three per 1,000 couples to just over nine in 2018. That year, women on average were 44.3 years old when their marriage ended. Men were slightly older, at 47.6 years.

Society and divorce

  Although segments of society still disapprove of divorcing, among a large share of the Dutch population getting a divorce is disappointing, but acceptable. A survey among the younger generation in the Netherlands in 2016 and 2017 found that over 80 percent of respondents thought it was sometimes necessary to end a marriage. Support was highest among the 26 to 34-year-olds, at 84 percent.

Average duration of a marriage at the time of divorce in the Netherlands from 2008 to 2018

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Release date

November 2019



Survey time period

2008 to 2018

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Statistics on "Demographics of the Netherlands"

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