New York, US (BBN)-You’ve landed the graduate job – at Goldman Sachs – you’ve been praying for, helped in no small part by a few of your dad’s contacts. Box ticked. You desperately want to tick the Get Married To Mr Right box. The guy you will marry, combine tax files and mix genes with.
But you are terrified at the prospect of your marriage not working out, terrified that your putative marriage will simply end up adding to the grim statistics about the general failure of marriage, reports Career Addict.
Many marriages take a battering when both parties have careers, particularly when both parties work long hours.
This is compounded by women’s nature: we women want to be ‘all things to all men’, so we push ourselves – and our marriages – to breaking point with the inevitable consequences.
So what factors need to be taken into consideration to have a successful marriage (beyond the obvious ones: love and compatibility)?
One factor could be the extent to which household duties are shared, so both parties in the marriage have enough time to devote to themselves, the marriage and their careers.
An interesting study by the guys over at Hopes&Fears hints at another (surprising) factor: that where you live could have a bearing on the longevity of your marriage. They used recent data from nationwide censuses to arrive at current marriage length and divorce rates worldwide (using data from 10 cities around the world).
The result is an interesting snapshot of how long marriages last around the world.
Italy has one of the lowest female labour force participation rates (i.e. people who are economically active, supplying their labour) amongst the OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) countries (54.4 per cent).
According to one report by the OECD, the Italian’s aren’t particularly good at sharing household chores. Women in Italy spend a staggering 204 minutes per day on housework compared with their other halves, who spend a paltry 57 minutes on housework.
In spite of this statistic, data retrieved by Hopes & Fears indicates that on average, the Italians have the longest lasting marriages.
The average length of marriage in Italy (using data from Rome) is 18 years. Furthermore, the national divorce rate is lower than most countries at 30.7 per cent. So perhaps Italy is the place to go if you want to ‘have it all’ – but this will probably come at a cost: total, constant exhaustion.
The Canadians have one of the highest female labour force participation rates in the OECD: an impressive 74.4 per cent.
So do they have it all, then? Yet again, women bear the brunt of the housework: they spend 133 minutes per day on housework compared with a mere 83 minutes per day for their men.
So what effect does this have on wedded bliss if we are to assume a relationship between the two? Well, the average length of marriage is 13.8 years (using data from Canada’s capital city Ottawa), and nearly half of all marriages in Canada end in divorce (48 per cent) – proof that you can’t have it all.
The female labour force participation rate in France is a not insignificant 67 per cent.
As far as equality in the house is concerned (measured by the sharing of chores), French women clock up 158 minutes per day of housework compared with 98 minutes for men -still not good enough. And how do marriages fare in one of the world’s most romantic places?
Well, the average marriage here lasts for a mere 13 years. Not impressed? It gets worse: the national divorce rate is a sobering 55 per cent.
The labour force participation rate for women in the US is 67.2 per cent. Again, women bear the lion’s share of household chores: they spend 126 minutes per day on housework compared with men, who spend 82 minutes a day on housework.
The average length of marriage for Americans, not particularly known for the virtue of patience, is a short 8.2 years. (New Yorkers stick it out longer and wait for more than 12.2 years before deciding who gets the dog.)
Across America, the divorce rate is 41 per cent, so not quite the 50 per cent often cited.
In Australia, the labour force participation rate is at a healthy 70.5 per cent.
As far as household chores equality is concerned, women here spend 168 minutes per day on housework compared with 93 minutes for men.
As for marriages – based on data from Sydney – the average length of a marriage in Australia is just 12.2 years.
Another not- so- sunny statistic is that nationally, more than two in five of marriages (43 per cent) will end in divorce. Sigh.
The female labour force participation rate in Mexico is low, at 47.8 per cent.
As for domestic equality, in stereotypically macho Mexico, women here spend 280 minutes a day on housework, whereas for the men it’s a mere 75 minutes a day.
And what is the state of marriage here? Based on data from Mexico City, it takes around 12.2 years for the embers of marriage to go cold.
Still, some good news: nationally, less than two in ten of marriages will end in divorce (15 per cent)
The labour force participation rate for women in Japan is 65 per cent.
The discrepancy between men and women on the chore equality front is huge: women spend up to 199 minutes per day on housework compared with a meagre 24 minutes per day for men.
The average length of marriage in famously conservative Japan (Tokyo data) is only 11 years, and national divorce rates (now at 36 per cent) are on the rise – divorce ceremonies are an increasingly popular means of untying of the knot here.
Do we Brits have anything to smile about, I wonder? Well, the female labour force participation rate here is a not-to-be-sniffed-at 71 per cent.
But when it comes to home life, the stats make for grim reading.
Women spend 133 minutes per day on chores compared with 66 minutes for men, who really need to get their house in order, literally and metaphorically.
And what of the average length of marriage in the UK? Based on data from London, the unlucky number for marriages in the UK is 11 years, and the national divorce rate in the UK is 42 per cent. According to the data retrieved by Hopes &Fears, the highest chance of divorce occurs between the 4th and 8th anniversary: watch out folks.
The female labour force participation rate in South Africa is just 50.4 per cent. In terms of domestic equality, women spend 200 minutes per day on household chores. And the men? A grand total of 69 minutes per day.
The marriage knot unravels at 11 years for South African couples, based on data from Cape Town.
But the national divorce rate in the country is the third lowest of all the countries reviewed by Hopes & Fears, at 31.2 per cent.
Based on World Bank data, the female labour force participation rate in Qatar is 51 per cent. Although data regarding domestic equality is not publicly available for Qatar, married couples in Doha, Qatar, do not even have the luxury of making it to the seven-year-itch.
The average length of marriage in this moneyed city is a mere 5.5 years. And nearly four in ten of all couples (38 per cent) will divorce.