POSTED: Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 8:15am
UPDATED: Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 2:07pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — While over two million lovebirds say "I do" each year in the United States, new statistics show the trend is to say "I Don't".
A new report from the National Center for Health Statistics finds half of all marriages still end in divorce, a number that hasn't changed in decades.
However, the number of couples choosing to live together but remain unmarried has nearly quadrupled.
The study also found those live in couples who eventually take that plunge are more likely to divorce than those who never lived together.
Higher education may be helping those whose marriages succeed.
The study found people are waiting longer to get married, possibly because they're otherwise engaged getting a college degree.
"The part of our brain that helps us make good judgment is not fully formed until we're 25, if people are waiting to get married until 25, 26, 28 they're probably able to make better judgments about what they're willing to be committed to long lastingly," notes Cleveland Clinic psychologist Dr. Scott Bea.
The study also found more women are staying single longer or avoiding marriage all together.
The report found ethnicity plays a role in whether your marriage is successful.
Seventy-five percent of Asian women were still in their first marriage after 20 years.
Hispanic women were also more likely to have long lasting marriages.