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Marriage Makes You Live Longer Say University of Warwick Researchers

Originally Published 29 January 2002

Research by Professor Andrew Oswald and Jonathan Gardner from the University of Warwick's Economics Department has found that marriage has powerful and beneficial effects on human beings. In short you live longer and you tend to be richer. The researchers looked at thousands of British men and women through the 1990s and found that whether they were married at the start of their data, in 1991 was a fairly good predictor of whether they are alive by the end of the decade. It appears especially true for women. The positive marriage affect appears in some cases to be nearly as large as the risk from smoking. In other words, if you must smoke, make sure you are married. The researchers found that:

  • Marriage makes you richer. In virtually every country ever studied, workers who are married earn between 10% and 20% more than those who are single.
  • Marriage makes you live longer. Although most members of the general public are probably not aware of it, there is now some consensus among epidemiologists that you can prolong your life by marrying. Marriage keeps you alive about 3 extra years, on average.

The researchers also looked at second and third marriages and found that they bring less protection to a human being than the first marriage.

Note for editors: A more details paper on this can be found at This link to a PDF paper

Further Information

Professor Andrew Oswald, Professor of Economics
University of Warwick Tel: 024 7652 3510 (Office)
01367 860005 (Home)
email: (office) (home)