More couples in North India have longer marriage than their counterparts across the country, the latest census data reveals, but the longevity of their union is less about love, and more to do with timing and health.
On Monday, The Times of India reported that couples from Haryana to Bihar as well as Maharashtra have the highest number of couples married for at least 40 years, making up 11-12 percent of all couples, while the Northeast has less than seven percent marriages lasting over four decades.
TOI reports that Meghalaya has just 4.1% of all couples who have been married for 40 years or more, one-third of Haryana or Maharashtra.
The highest share of longest marriages are in Haryana, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The lowest share of marriages over 40 years are in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal, and Meghalaya.
The duration of a marriage doesn't depend on love and loyalty, according to sociologists, but rather on customs, health and the couple's age.
An early marriage and good health is the best bet for a long marriage.
Professor Bimal Kar, who heads the geography department at Guwahati University, told TOI that lower share of marriages could be attributed to poor health and late marriage.
In India, the legal minimum age for marriage is 21 for men and 18 for women.
In Haryana, census data shows, 21 percent of men are married before the age of 21, and 31 percent of women from the state tied the knot before the age of 18.
In Meghalaya, 11 percent of men are married before the age of of 21, and 15 percent of women were less than 18-years-old when they entered matrimony.
Only 1.1 percent of marriages end in divorce in India.
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