First Ever Wide-Scale Survey on Cross-Cultural (Mail Order Bride) Marriage and Divorce

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Controversies of various sorts have plagued those rare souls who decide to cast a wider net in the search for their marriage partners, and are open to finding partners from other countries. Between accusations of "Mail Order Brides" and "sex trafficking," this topic has been a lightning rod for politicians and lawyers alike. Misinformation - including Congressional testimony - abounds. This survey, commissioned by an independent voice, International Relations, addresses many of the myths and much of the hyperbole surrounding this difficult and highly charged topic.

International Relations recently completed the first-ever wide-scale study to collect facts and statistics dealing with cross-cultural marriage and divorce. The survey was initiated in Summer of 2008 with an awareness campaign to more than 250,000 persons who were thought to qualify to complete the survey. Additionally, there was a press release in mid-July 2008 asking for qualified registrants to complete the survey and intending to appeal to the broadest possible audience.

Between July and October of 2008, nearly 3,000 people registered to take the survey. Of the responses received, some were later discovered to be incomplete or invalid, and the final tally of valid responses was more than 1,700. This dataset was evaluated by an independent expert in the field of statistical analysis, Dr. James Lani of Statistics Solutions, Inc., and he said; "Upon receipt of the data from International Relations in early October 2008, Statistics Solutions, Inc. performed an integrity check to insure the resultant data were valid for analyses. The raw data contained more than 2,300 individual responses. Following Statistics Solutions review of the raw data, nearly 600 responses were excluded from the dataset, resulting in a validated dataset of more than 1,700 survey responses."

Included in the report from Statistics Solutions, Inc, is presentation of the following:

  • Demographic Analysis of Survey Respondents
  • Gender and Length of Courtship Before Marriage
  • Gender and Household Income
  • Gender and Level of Education

The data, not surprisingly, indicates that both men and women involved in a cross-cultural marriage tend to be highly educated and hold at least a Bachelors Degree.

It also indicates that the vast majority of cross-cultural marriages have household incomes less than $100,000 per year. Of course, some consideration must be made for the fact the data included responses from many different countries, some with a cost of living, and attendant income levels, substantially lower than in the United States or Canada.

Statistics Solutions, Inc. also examined the divorce rate among respondents, and compared it to the domestic U.S. divorce rate.

Divorce rate among cross-cultural marriages was determined to be 40.76 percent, as contrasted to the domestic U.S. divorce rate of 48.0 percent.

While the divorce rate remains significant at 40.76 percent, it is also clearly better than the rate experienced by U.S. couples.

Other findings from the survey data included results about:

  • Length of marriages that divorced
  • Primary causes of divorce
  • Average ages of men and women when married
  • Average age gaps in cross-cultural marriages

Perhaps the most significant of all was the response to the question about whether respondents would be willing to try another cross-cultural marriage if their current/previous marriage would (or did) fail. Resoundingly, almost 90 percent of respondents answered they would be willing to try again.

Numerous other statistics were considered by Statistics Solutions, Inc. and future use of the data was addressed. Dr. Lani concluded his report with the following statement; "The data collected by International Relations provides opportunities for numerous additional statistical studies. Statistics Solutions, Inc. has provided analyses on only a few of the myriad studies that might be performed with the survey data. Statistics Solutions, Inc. finds the methodology employed by International Relations to have met professional standards and providing valid results. Further use of the survey data for providing additional insight into cross-cultural marriage and divorce is encouraged."

The full report by Statistics Solutions, Inc. may be found at this URL --

Results of this survey are being actively examined in discussion forums at Russian Women (, and Planet Love (

Media or research inquiries may be directed to: survey(at)

Special thanks to:
Elena Petrova of Elena's Models (
Nikolay Pokrovsky of Cute Only (
Nelson Grisales of Latin American Introductions (
Jamie Morrow of International Introductions (


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