It’s no surprise that divorce rates around the world have exploded over the last few decades. But how long does it take for most married couples to call it a day?

Country by country, the average length of marriages that end in divorce vary greatly, with some not even making it to their tenth anniversary. We looked at some of the average durations around the world to gauge the bonds of marriage in the modern age.

 How long does an average marriage last around the world?. Image 1.

We chose TEN cities across the globe from Paris to Doha to retrieve our data.





18 years

National Divorce Rate: 30.7%

According to the Economist, couples in Italy stay together longer than any other country evaluated. Istat dives into these numbers a little deeper, noting that the average marriage lasts 15 years up until separation or 18 up until divorce. Regardless of how long couples stay together, marriage, as an institution, has fallen out of favor with couples. As of 2010, separation and divorce rates grew. For every 1,000 marriages, there were 158 separations in 1995 and 307 in 2010, as well as 80 divorces 1995 and 182 in 2010.





13.8 years

National Divorce Rate: 48%

According to Statistics Canada, the average length of a marriage, nationally, is 14 years, with the country’s capital, Ottawa, falling not far behind that at 13.8 years. Ottawa’s province, Ontario, came just below the national average in 2005, though, as divorce rates continue to climb, it might be shorter today. 





13 years

National Divorce Rate: 55%

France fared better than most European nations, but the divorce rate has skyrocketed in the past decade by about 40%. The Economist places Parisian couples at about 13 years, which puts the country on the higher end of the scale.


New York City

United States


12.2 years

National Divorce Rate: 41%

While the national length of marriage in the United States is about 8.2 years, New Yorkers actually stick it out longer and average about 12.2 years. The rest of the state fares well, too, with most marriages lasting between 10 and 14 years. Surprisingly, however, is that the mythic 50% national divorce rate has turned out to be just that, a myth. At a 41% divorce rate, Americans are choosing to stay together.





12 years

National Divorce Rate: 43%

The average duration of marriage is about 12 years in Australia, yet the Australian Institute of Family Studies reports that people are separating quicker. In 2011, they reported that the time that “couples go from being married to being separated now stands at 8.7 years, up from 7.5 in 1980.” Still, they are also finding that more and more marriages will stay together for the kids. According to a 2013 report by the AIFS, “more Australians are divorcing after twenty years or more of marriage,” waiting for their children to leave the nest before they do as well.  


Mexico City



12 years

National Divorce Rate: 15%

As a country, couples living in Mexico stay together for about 12 years on average. However, recent studies have shown that most couples are breaking up within two years of matrimony. To remedy this, many Mexican lawmakers suggested temporary marriage licenses in 2011, so couples have an easier time with their likely divorce.





11 years

National Divorce Rate: 36%

Divorce rates in Japan have exploded over the last few decades. Most marriages don’t last more than 11 years, according to a national census. Divorce ceremonies, which act as a separation ritual in the same way marriage is a joining one, have begun popping up throughout the country to provide couples with a formal end to their life together.





11 years

National Divorce Rate: 42%

As of 2012, it was estimated that 42% of marriages in England and Wales would end in divorce, with 34% of marriages ending before the 20th anniversary. Many don’t make it that far, though, with the highest chance of divorce happening between the 4th and 8th wedding anniversary. Still the national average of Great Britain surpasses this, with the average marriage lasting a little over 11 years.


Cape Town

South Africa


11 years

National Divorce Rate: 31.2%

The average length of marriage in South Africa is 11 years. However, this rate does vary from men to women and age to age. Most South African men, get divorced between the ages of 40 and 44 while women divorce younger, between 30 and 35 years old, according to a 2012 report from Statistics South Africa.





5.5 years

National Divorce Rate: 38%

Not only is the divorce rate in Qatar high, at about 38%, but most marriages don’t even make it a decade. As of a report from 2011, 60% of couples split within five years, with many not even consummating the marriage.


Additional sources: National Divorce Rates