Census Data Reveals Re-Marriage Rate on the Rise

PHOTO: Recent data shows that the number of remarried adults has tripled since 1960.Getty Images
Recent data shows that the number of remarried adults has tripled since 1960.

If the last wedding you went to felt like deja vu, it may not be just the trendy buffets and cocktails. A growing number of Americans are saying 'I do' more than once.

An analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released today by the Pew Research Center revealed that four in 10 new marriages in 2013 included at least one or both partners who had previously wed.

While marriage itself is in decline in the U.S., "previously married people are as willing as ever to jump back into wedlock," noted the study.

There are currently 42 million Americans who have taken multiple strolls down the aisle -- triple the number in 1960. Reasons behind the rise in recurring nuptials can be attributed to both an increased life expectancy and an increase in couples splitting up in the first place.

"Divorce has grown much more common in the last 50 years or so," said Pew's senior researcher Gretchen Livingston. "What this means is, there are a lot more people who are ‘available’ for remarriage. And aging has also contributed to the increase -- the older you are, the more likely you are to have ever remarried. In 1960, 46 percent of adults were ages 45 or older, and now that number is 53 percent."

But while Baby Boomers are happy to take a second spin to the wedding chapel, another trend revealed by the data is that younger generations are less inclined than they used to be.

"Over the last 50 years, the age pattern in the likelihood of remarriage has shifted dramatically," said Livingston. "In 1960, almost three-fourths of previously married adults younger than 55 had ever remarried, as compared with 42 percent of older adults. Since that time, there has been a retreat from remarriage among younger people."

Rachael Lubarsky, 40, of Falls Church, Va., told ABC News she had witnessed as much among her divorced friends.

"I happen to be friends with several women who decided not to get married again after a first marriage, and one after a second marriage," Lubarsky said. "I think especially for professional women who are earning enough money on their own, there isn't the need to be married like there was a generation or two ago."

Of greater importance can be finding an enthusiastic co-parent.

"When I separated from my first husband, I was still relatively young and already a mother to a small child," said Lubarsky. "I definitely had my son's interests in mind when I began dating again, looking for someone who would be a good father figure. I really feel that kids benefit from regular contact from two parents who are on the same page in terms of child-rearing."

Anh Truong Little, 45, of Los Angeles, also didn't expect to walk down the aisle again after her first marriage dissolved eight years ago.

"My first marriage was kind of dysfunctional and so for my children’s sake I decided that we would be much happier out of that," she said. "I didn’t think remarrying was an option, because my children were my first priority and you don't expect to find someone who will love them as unconditionally as you do."

But when Little did find that someone, the decision to remarry was an easy one.

"I don't think you should ever stay in a marriage that is a bad one," Little said. "But I was fortunate in that I found the right, best person in my second marriage. You have to marry your best friend and someone who is on the same path; it’s companionship, security, and knowing that you’re growing old with somebody who has the same ideas and values as you do."

After re-marrying in 2008, Lubarsky and her husband have since expanded their own household. She echoed Little's sentiments, saying that their successful partnership sets a positive example for children.

"Getting remarried can serve as a lesson in relationship-building for kids," said Lubarsky. "Life happens, you make mistakes, you take responsibility and learn from them and move on. Life's too short not to be happy."

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