The United States has seen a significant increase in the number of people marrying more than once, new research suggests.
Forty per cent of all marriages which took place in the US during 2013 involved at least one person who had previously been married. In half of those cases, both partners had been married before.
These numbers were gathered by Washington DC think tank Pew Research Center. Gathering newly released data from the US Census Bureau, they found that around 42 million people have been married more than once. This shows a considerable increase over the last 40 years. In 1980, 22 million had more than one marriage and in 1960 the number was only 14 million.
Researchers believe the increased access to divorce is the primary cause for the rise in remarriage. However they also suggest that as the population lives longer, they have more time to form, dissolve and reform romantic relationships.
In September, another study from Pew Research Center found that more Americans are avoiding marriage than ever before. Despite this, their latest data indicates that people who have already been married do not share the same hesitation. Fifty-seven per cent of divorced or widowed people in the US have remarried. This number is roughly the same as it was 50 years ago.
Pew also found a difference in attitude towards remarriage between the genders. While 65 per cent of previously married men said they would want to marry again, only 43 per cent of women felt the same.
The age gap between couples widened between first and second marriages, the research found. As people got older they were more likely to marry a younger spouse the second time around. While a previous study suggested that age gaps increase the likelihood of divorce, UK campaign group the Marriage Foundation has claimed that second marriages last longer than first ones.