Top 10 Countries with the Longest Marriages

couple getting married holding bouqet of flowers

Till death do us part – a wedding vow many of us hope to keep, and one that Karam Chand impressively followed until his demise in September 2016. At the time of his death, Mr Chand was 110 years old and had been married to his wife Kartari for nearly 91 – yes, ninety-one! – years, a world record for the longest marriage in history!

Marriages that have set astounding records for length have been reported around the world for years – from France to the UK. But it makes you wonder: where do marriages last the longest?

Join us as we take a look at the top 10 countries with the longest marriages in the world!

10. Qatar

It takes an average 5.5 years after ‘I do’ for couples in Qatar to realise that, actually, they don’t. The Middle Eastern country,  which is one of the richest in the world, has a divorce rate of 38 per cent. Rather alarmingly, that figure is now believed to have risen to 71 per cent. But, living in Qatar sure has its perks: crime rates are relatively low and you can earn a pretty decent salary with no taxation. So, even if your marriage fails, you’ll still be making a lot of money.

9. South Africa

While marriage popularity is slowly decreasing in South Africa (the number of civil marriages has dropped by 10 per cent from 2003 to 2013) and civil unions have increased by 30 per cent between 2009 and 2013, marriages here tend to last 11 years. Moreover, while the national divorce rate stands at 31.2 per cent, the number of divorces has dropped a quarter since 2003, proving that more and more marriages are lasting longer.

8. England

We’re in eighth place! The average length of marriage in England is 11 years. It might not sound very encouraging, but it’s actually a great number. The UK is one of the top countries with the happiest couples. Sadly, divorce rates stand at 42 per cent.

7. Japan

Wedding vows in Asia tend to last the longest in the Land of the Rising Sun – specifically, for 11 years. That said, marriage rates in Japan are gradually dipping while divorce rates are on the rise, currently at 36 per cent.

Interestingly, the Japanese quite like divorce ceremonies, where couples smash their wedding rings to symbolise the end of their marriage (though it’s certainly not the weirdest thing to come out of Japan, where it’s perfectly normal to find work as a fake wedding guest, amongst other things).

6. Mexico

Tacos, Mariachi bands, Chihuahuas and tequila are just a handful of reasons we should all immigrate to Mexico. But if you’re a hopeless romantic, there are two more reasons to consider moving to Mexico: the average length of marriage here is 12 years, and there’s a 15 per cent divorce rate (the lowest of any country on this list)!

5. Australia

Like in Mexico, marriages Down Under typically last for 12 years, but can (and do) last much longer than that. Case in point: Rowland and Elsie Olarenshaw who met when they were 14 and 13, respectively. They married in 1933 and were named Australia’s oldest married couple, up until Elsie’s passing a week before her 101st birthday in 2015.

4. United States

The US is one of the best countries for marriage, and this is evidenced by the concentration of longest married couples in the country. In fact, there have been 29 reported couples being married for more than 80 years, with Herbert Fisher Sr and Zelmyra Fisher taking the crown for 86 years and 290 days of marriage. Marriages in the US usually last for 12.2 years, but here’s to hoping for another 67.8 years of blissful marriage like the Fishers!

3. France

Ah, the country of love. The French are renowned for being romantic, and if Hollywood taught us anything it’s that they’re experts at seduction. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that marriages in France are the third-longest in the world, typically lasting 13 years. Unfortunately, 55 per cent of marriages end in divorce.

2. Canada

Canada comes in second place with marriages lasting an average of 13.8 years. We can’t be sure why marriages are so successful in the Great White North, but we assume maple syrup, ice hockey and Céline Dion might have something to do with it. That said, Canada is also the country with the second-highest divorce rate on this list, at 48 per cent. We blame Justin Bieber for that.

1. Italy

Rome is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with plenty of things to see and do, like visit the Colosseum, climb the Spanish Steps, throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain and eat gelato at Giolitti (the oldest ice cream parlour in the Eternal City).

It’s also one of the most romantic wedding destinations in Europe, which is perhaps why marriages tend to last the longest there. Specifically: 18 years. Meanwhile, Italy is also known for its beautiful women – another potential reason for the average marriage length.

Do you have anything you’d like to add? Join the conversation below and tell us what’s on your mind!


This article was originally published in July 2015.