Recent marriages more prone to split

The rate of marriages ending in annulment or divorce is higher for recent marriage cohorts and younger grooms but lower for recent Muslim marriages, a study has found.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), supported by the Department of Statistics, studied the stability of marriages in Singapore from 1987 to 2012.

The report, released yesterday, showed that marriage dissolution rates among recent marriage cohorts have increased compared with earlier cohorts.

Among those who married in 2003, 16.1 per cent had their marriage dissolved by the 10th year, compared with 8.7 per cent for the 1987 cohort.

By the 15th year of marriage, 20.3 per cent of the 1998 cohort had their marriages dissolved, compared with 12.3 per cent of the 1987 cohort.


There are also more dissolved marriages among younger grooms. Divorce rates for grooms aged 20 to 24 are twice as high as the rates for those aged 25 and older in non-Muslim marriages. Divorce rates for younger Muslim grooms were also 1.5 times higher compared to older grooms.

For the 1998 cohort, for instance, a third of non-Muslim marriages involving younger grooms ended in divorce before their 15th anniversary. The figure was 39.1 per cent for Muslim marriages in the same cohort.

But for recent Muslim marriages, divorce rates before the fifth year of marriage fell. These divorce rates decreased from 14 per cent for the 2003 marriage cohort to 11.4 per cent for the 2008 cohort. The improvement may be due to community initiatives in marriage preparation and counselling for Muslim couples, the MSF said.