June 8, 2016

Professor says marriages are indeed at their most vulnerable after seven years

It has previously been claimed that marriages are particularly vulnerable at this point and there has been fierce debate about whether there is genuine evidence for the theory or if it can be put down to mere superstition.

Now however, Sir David Spiegelhalter, a statistics professor at Cambridge University, said that data would appear to support the claim – with couples actually more likely to file for divorce after seven years together.

And those who make it past this point are more likely to stay together, with the chance of a split declining annually thereafter.

Sir David, who was recently elected the president of the Royal Statistical Society, spoke about the trend at the recent Hay Festival.

“Seven years is the peak risk time for divorce during a marriage,” he told the audience.

Surprisingly the trend – which takes its name from a 1950s play about marital difficulties – does not appear to have been affected by the fact that couples are now more likely to live together for a period of several years prior to tying the knot.

A previous report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – published four years ago - suggested that the likelihood of divorce peaks at 3.25 per cent at the time of a couple’s seventh wedding anniversary.

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