Major life decisions like marriage, divorce and having child are subconsciously influenced by how long people believe they will live. Hence, life expectancy tends to be a major driving force of all these. This means that the longer the person lives the more they live happily. However, researchers are having hard time trying to understand what might be contributing to high or low life expectancy. Is being in marriage a happy and long life? Is being divorced reduces chances of surviving? What are the reasons behind it?

Comparing life expectancy of divorced and married people

Life expectancy of divorced and married people has been a long historical debated issue the point under contention being as how long married people live and after divorce. Researchers have also tried assiduously to consider the factors contributing to high or low life expectancy among this group. Here below, we shall try to discuss the issue deeply.

As new research suggests, it is evidential truth that married people have advantage over their divorced counterparts. With tax breakage and cuddling arte not enough, married people are less likely to die from a avoidable accidents or preventable diseases. A research that done by two sociologists professors at both Rice University and University of Pennsylvania showed that social relationships and socio-economic status affect life-expectancy. It was revealed that divorced people have high likelihood of dying from preventable causes of accidental death like fire, poisoning and smoke inhalation as compared to married people. The sociologist’s researchers, in conducting their study, considered data from the National Health Interview Survey in which they compared 1300000 adults aged 18 and older who survived or died from accidents between 1984 and 2007. In further research, they found that people with low education have a great risk for accidental death than educated adults. In his words Justine Denney said, ‘well educated individuals have greater socio-economic resources that can be used to their advantage in prevention accidental death. Marital status is highly influential in that it can provide positive support a fact that may discourage a partner’s risk and offer immediate support that saves lives in the event of an emergency.’ It should remembered that this is not the first time researchers have confirmed the health benefits of marriage since earlier this year a Finnish study found that marriage contributes in reducing the risk of heart attack in men and women at any age. Moreover, Duke University Medical Center, researchers, earlier January 2013, found that married people were less at risk for premature death than divorced people.

Marriage, as research suggest, is one the first non-biological factors identified as improving life expectancy. This is behind the rationale that those married people tend to take fewer risks with their health and that have a good emotional and mental health. Compared to divorced life, marriage is shown to provide more social and material support. In this case, marital supports are those things of healthcare. However, considering the changing face of marriage and life expectancy, it is fact that married people are narrowly heath than divorced people. In early 70s, there was something about people who lived in marriage that improved life expectancy. In present time, people could live as single but living with someone and hence experiencing everything of the health benefits without having marriage certificate. The life expectancy of the divorced men is improving compared to early 1970s when men who were divorced had lowest life expectancy. Difference of married and divorced people is becoming smaller since as researchers suggest, divorced men now have access to support and health resources, which in past came because their wife took care of them. In those days early 1972, married men had greater advantage over their counterparts since their wives were making sure that they went to doctor and took care of themselves. In these days, you find that men are taking more responsibility for their own health and it is normal for any man now to express concern about his health. As compared to divorced men, women are disadvantaged. Women who are divorced have reportedly poor health compared to married people. Health of those divorced people/women is approximately 7% worse. However, there is no any evidential proven research to explain why the experience of being divorced now is more detrimental to health than early 70s though some theories suggest that in those days divorced people had more of a community and extended family to help them out but nowadays they are somehow isolated.

Looking on a another study that was released by Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, it shows that people with lower life expectations may be less likely to divorce. As how he confirmed Daniel Krupp, the study author and the postdoctoral fellow in Queen’s math department, the actual life expectancy of province or a health region can well predict when men and women get married with the rates of men and women divorcing. As how Krupp suggested, the study was researching on the relationship between lifespan and life decisions. Comparison was made between population statistics with birth records, marriage certificates and the collected court documents. However, as how he said, the study was not focusing on individual psychology or the motivation behind any life decision. The interrelationship between married and divorced lifespan has been a hot topic. As census data that were collected by Bowling Green State University in Ohio in January indicates, over the the past 20 years, the divorce rate among baby boomers has increased by more than 50 percent even though divorce rates have stabilized nationally. This study has a clear indication that as people start living longer, they are less likely to tolerate being unhappy and moderately satisfied within their marriage. Having a short lifespan, Krupp suggest, might encourage people to stay together. He said, ‘it is becoming possible currently that our view of the relationship itself changes when life expectancy shortens. That, people are not such dissatisfied being in same relationship than they would be if their life expectancy was longer.

Throughout the history, divorce has been known to be bad for health however new evidence suggests that it affects both men and women. Here below we dive deep into these risk associated with divorce particularly.

Heart disease

Despite the consensus notion that divorce is bad for heart health, a study that was conducted by the University of Texas that involved 9,000 people found that by the age of 60 around 30 percent of divorced are predicted to suffer from cardiovascular disease compared to 20 percent of married women. However, it is only 35 percent of divorced men are predicted to be affected by the disease compared to 30 percent of married men. The leader of this study Professor Mark Hayward said that women could be more vulnerable during years that divorce often happens from the 40s onwards. This is because it is around te same time when the women level of heart-protective oestrogen drop.


As study suggest, divorce has a huge impact on emotional health for both men and women although men suffer more. the divorced or separated men are more likely to require psychiatric care where divorced women are less likely (men are ten times and women five times likely) as how U.S. research confirmed. As how expert speculate, men are often emotionally unprepared for separation since most of the break-ups are mostly initiated by women. Men also are poor at expressing their emotions as they navigate this difficult time to cope with divorce life. On the other hand, women usually have social support network to depend on.

Poor diet

Compared to divorced women, divorced men tend to have poor diet since this according to study by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. However, divorced men tend to be fit as according to research published by Swedish researchers. In this research, over 9,000 men were interviewed and it was found that divorced men tend to be more attentive to their physique (possibly in a bid to win a new partner).


According to this research by Swedish researchers, divorced women and men have high risk of dementia because of the social stimulation, communication and joint problem solving.

In conclusion, it is now provable fact that married couples have high life expectancy than divorced people. Even if one does not spend very long after the split, divorce reduces life expectancy by as much as three years. This has been contributed by, as we have seeing, stress and depression with divorced men taking high risk.


Stevenson, B., & Wolfers, J. (2007). Marriage and divorce: Changes and their driving forces (No. w12944). National Bureau of Economic Research.


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Pearlin, L. I., & Johnson, J. S. (1977). Marital status, life-strains and depression. American sociological review, 704-715.