Want to Stay Married? Become an Actuary or a Doctor

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Census data tell us that we’re getting married later, and if we want to stay married longer, our chances are better if we get a well-paying job such as an actuary or a physician. Those are the findings of Nathan Yau, a statistician who provided the data for FlowingData, which looks into how statisticians, designers, data scientists and others use analysis and exploration to understand data.

Yau determined that divorce rates correlate to the type of job. Divorce rates are higher for the unemployed than employed, and those with higher salaried-occupations tend to have lower divorce rates.

Yau looked at divorce rates by occupation, using data from the 2015 American Community Survey.

Actuaries, scientists, software developers and physicians tend to have lower divorce rates. Actuaries, whose job is to evaluate risk and uncertainty, earn almost $100,000 a year and have the lowest divorce rate among professions examined, less than 20%. Physicians and surgeons, who are paid more than $160,000, have a divorce rate just above 20%. Lawyers, engineers, economists and dentists who earn $100,000 or above annually have divorce rates of less than 30%.

Nurse anesthetists, who are paid more than $140,000, have one of the more elevated divorce rates among higher-paid workers, at just above 30%.

On the other side of the spectrum, bartenders earning less than $20,000 a year have a divorce rate above 50%. Telemarketers and switchboard operators who earn $20,000 or less get divorced at about a 50% rate. Gaming managers and flight attendants who are paid $40,000 a year or less get divorced at a rate of more than 50%.