Studies reveal link between marriage and life expectancy

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Story by ELLEN BECKER, Managing Editor—
EllensmallerAfter getting engaged, I, like most brides-to-be, began scanning the Internet for all things wedding-related.
Among all of the sites discussing which flowers I should have, what kind of dress I should wear, and those that provided quizzes to “make sure that he’s the one,” I ran across an article saying that marriage can actually increase one’s life expectancy.
I was pretty skeptical, but decided to find out what these so called “marriage experts” had to say.
The article began by stating, “People who have never married have the highest risk of death in the United States.”
The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health conducted a study that found people who have never married were 58 percent more likely to die than married people.
People who are widowed are 40 percent more likely to die, and people who are divorced or separated are 27 percent more likely to die.
How uplifting, right? Don’t worry, the article wasn’t all depressing.
According to marriage expert Hellen Chen, “Being married drives a person to perform better in all aspects of life.”
Chen has frequently worked with men and women who have lost faith in relationships and given up on the aspect of marriage.
“When I finally convinced them to tie the knot, you can see a changed person right in front of your eyes,” she said.
According to the latest 2012 population report by the US Census Bureau, married men are getting higher salary than single men. The report also showed married women earning more wages than single women.
The recent Nobel Prize win of two American economists, Alvin Roth of Harvard University and Lloyd Shapley of the University of California Los Angeles, further supports the report.
The men applied the match-making process in scientific ways to medicine and to job seekers, and thus proved that correct matching improved the results for all involved.
“Men and women simply do better in careers and health when they are together,” Chen said.
Also according to the U.S. Census, being raised in a married family reduces a child’s probability of living in poverty by about 82 percent.
Researchers and statisticians acknowledge that children with married parents are healthier, do better at school and are less likely to fall into crime, drug abuse and early pregnancy.
In another article I found, marriage was one of the first non-biological factors identified as improving life expectancy.
The explanation given was that married people tend to take “fewer risks with their health and have better mental and emotional health.”
Marriage also provides more social and material support, like having someone to take you to the doctor or care for you when you are sick.
According to, there are many social benefits of marriage.
For example, married couples build more wealth on average than singles or cohabiting couples.
Studies have also shown that married women are at lower risk for domestic violence than women in cohabiting or dating relationships.
The site also states that “The institution of marriage reliably creates the social, economic and affective conditions for effective parenting,” and that “being married changes people’s lifestyles and habits in ways that are personally and socially beneficial.”
Now, obviously, just having a marriage license isn’t going to increase anyone’s life expectancy. It’s the relationship within the marriage.
Finding someone who understands you, someone who supports you and shares your interests and values would make anyone happy.
And tying the knot only further symbolizes the strong commitment couples have for one another.
To quote the Bible, “and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.”
There’s a bond between man and wife that is like no other.
I’ve got to say, I’m pretty excited for my upcoming nuptials.
So for those who may be considering marriage, or for those who may think marriage is pointless or even slightly terrifying, I would just tell you, for better or for worse, marriage matters.