How long do marriages last in America today?The Wikipedia article on Marriage in the United States cites Williams, Sawyer, and Walstrom's (2008) textbook, Marriages, families, and intimate relationships: A practical introduction for the statistic, "The median length for a marriage in the US today is 11 years with 90% of all divorces being settled out of court."
I tried to find the source for this claim but couldn't find an easy way to access the book without purchasing it.
From 2009 data reported by the U.S. census bureau in May 2011:
In 2009, 83 percent of all currently married couples had achieved at least their fifth anniversary, 55 percent had been married at least 15 years, and 35 percent had reached their twenty-fifth anniversary. A small percentage of currently married couples had passed their golden (fiftieth) wedding anniversary-6 percent. These percentages are only 1 to 2 percentage points higher than they were in 1996, reflecting both the leveling of divorce rates and the increases in life expectancy.(p. 17)
PDF of report: http://www.census.gov/prod/2011p...
These data are based on the duration of the most recent marriage for couples married at the time the survey was taken (2009). According to these data, the median duration of first marriage for those whose first marriage ended in divorce was 8 years, with separation occurring at 6.6/6.7 years.