The National Center for Family & Marriage Research (NCFMR) at Bowling Green State University has crunched the numbers on the latest remarriage stats:
Men are more likely to remarry than women, and this difference grows dramatically with age. Note that only 2 out of every one thousand divorcées 65 and over remarried in 2010.
I wish they would have broken the under 45 category out a bit since there is a big difference between the prospects of a divorcée in her 20s and one in her late 30s or early 40s. However, I’m guessing the sample sizes didn’t permit this since women under 45 represent just 28% of all current divorcées:
Combining the information from the two charts above, 52% of existing divorcées have a 19 in 1,000 chance of remarrying in any given year, while another 20% have a shockingly low 2 per 1,000 annual chance of remarriage. Only 28% of existing divorcées have the much rosier annual chance of 73 per 1,000, even though the rosy metric is the one most frequently touted. Interestingly even the youngest category of existing divorcées is highly skewed to the oldest ages, with 64% of them over 35:
The crop of existing divorcées is skewed older in part because younger divorcées are much more likely to remarry and (temporarily at least) leave the data set. Here is the age breakdown of women who divorced during 2009, the latest year I could find data for:
While this is younger than the current divorcée population it still skews strongly to older women; only a third are under 35. Any way you slice it this is bad news for aspiring divorcées, as remarriage is an essential part of having it all and the longer women delay their first marriage the older they will be when they later divorce and look to remarry. With the median age of first marriage for women at 26.5 and the median length of first marriages ending in divorce at 11 years this means the bulk of tomorrow’s divorcées will be divorcing even closer to (if not in) middle age. Even the early birds will end up competing with the expanding group of never marrieds, a group which is already finding it extremely difficult to marry in their 30s.
Not only is remarriage essential for class reasons, but women who divorce very often end up incredibly alone later in life if they don’t remarry. The 2004 AARP study of men and women who divorced primarily in their 40s (72%) and early 50s (15%) found that for women remarriage was not only much harder, but the consequences of not remarrying were much worse for women (emphasis mine):
Almost 9 in 10 men (87%) dated after their divorce, compared to 8 in 10 women (79%)… Among those who dated after the divorce, more than half of men (54%) but fewer women remarried (39%). (Page 39)
Many women, especially those who have not remarried (69%), do not touch or hug at all sexually. An even larger majority of women who have not remarried do not engage in sexual intercourse (77% saying not at all), in comparison with about half of men (49%) who have not remarried. (Page 6)
It is even worse than the 2004 AARP study found however, because it was looking at the outcomes of divorces in the past and remarriage rates have been dropping for the last 50 years:
Edit Oct 6 2014: Updated the remarriage over time chart to one showing the correct time scale.