Married men live seven years longer than single ones

Hand in HandMarried men live more than seven years longer than divorced ones, a new study suggests.

Researchers in Finland examined lifespans in the northern European country. The data revealed that while married men enjoyed an average lifespan of 80 years in 2012, divorced men could only manage 73 years. Widowers did little better, with an average life expectancy of just over 74 years.

Nationally, the average life expectancy for Finns is 84 for women and 77 for men.

An earlier study in the US, based on a survey of 127,545 Americans born during the 1940s, also found that married men live longer than single ones and the longer man is married, the greater the effect on his life expectancy. Married men were also healthier than divorcés, widowers and those who had never married.

Getting married after the age of 25 was more beneficial than doing so at a younger age, the researchers noted.

Photo by Garry Knight via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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2 comments

Malcolm Lochhead - December 17, 2013 at 11:28am

The headline seems to be wrong. Married men live 7 years longer than DIVORCED men. We are not told how much longer they live than single men.

It would be interesting to know whether this tells us marriage is good for you, or divorce is bad for you. I suspect it’s the latter, and that the difference in life expectancy between single and married men will be less than the difference between single and divorced men.

As it is though, the study doesn’t really tell us anything.

Luke - December 21, 2013 at 6:28pm

Yes, I too think the title is misleading. What the study is actually saying is that divorce can sometimes be very bad for a man’s health – and of course the obvious way to avoid that is not to marry :-)

The devil is in the detail with statistics for single men as well – what you really want to know is how long the married men would have lived if they had stayed single – and looking at actual single men is not the answer because for many the reason they are single is a significant influence on their likely lifespan.

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