Will Trump’s Marriage Last?

June 1, 2017
· 3 min read

Short story: DataRobot Labs has built an application that predicts a 96.3% chance that Donald Trump’s marriage will last at least two more years.

By analyzing data from a Stanford study that follows thousands of couples over a period of years, data scientists at DataRobot Labs have created a simple quiz to analyze relationships.  By answering six questions, couples can determine the likelihood that their relationship will last two more years.

As it happens, there’s a lot of information out there about Trump, so we ran his marriage through the tool to see what it would say.

Here are the six questions:

1. What is your relationship status?

We know the Don is married to the beautiful Melania.  That’s going to increase the longevity of their relationship.  It turns out that the more overt commitments that a couple makes to each other, the more likely they are to stay together.

2. How many years have you and your partner been together?

The wikipedia page for Melania has a lot of great information about their relationship.  They started dating in 1998.  That’s roughly 19 years ago and roughly average compared to married couples in the Stanford dataset.  

3. How old are you and how old is your partner?

Wikipedia helps us here too.  Turns out that Trump is 70 and Melania is 47.  That’s a 23 year age-gap.  Turns out that couples with wide age-gaps tend to be less likely to stay together.

4. Level of education

Trump has a bachelor’s degree and Melania has a high school diploma.  Having both completed their courses of study, they are ahead of the game compared to those who drop out of high school or college.

5. How many children between the ages of 2 and 5 live with you?

Not surprisingly, having pre-school aged children is very stressful on a relationship.  The data shows that couples with children between 2 and 5 years old are more likely to split up than those that don’t. Trump’s youngest child is 11, so that improves their score.

6. On average, how many different relatives do you see each month?

This one is a bit of a guess.  Having a larger family network, means a more stable, longer lasting relationship.  Unfortunately, we have to take a bit of a guess on this one, as records aren’t precisely available.  We know for sure that Trump is a busy man, and we also know that he regularly interacts with his daughter and son-in-law.  So we’ll put in 2 for this one.

Results: 96.3% chance of staying together!

And here is the analysis that the tool provides:

Personally, I follow Ivanka Trump on Facebook, and I love to see the pictures that she posts of their family.  I have four kids, and I’m very pleased that Trump’s relationships are so strong.  I love nothing better than families, and I wish them the very best.

Of course the model doesn’t take into account the fact that Trump is the President — happily there’s not much data on divorce in the White House.  Plus, this is not an exact science.  Anyone who thinks that you can capture the complexity of a human relationship in six questions is fooling themselves.  This tool is just a fun way to see what a very general study can tell us about our relationships.  As for me, I scored a 98.3% — so not much different from Trump!  That’s the great thing about family — whether you’re an average data scientist or the leader of the free world, relationships are the great equalizer.

You can take it for yourself, if you want!

DataRobot is a predictive modeling platform that makes it possible for anyone to build advanced predictive models without having to write any code and without needing a deep knowledge of math or statistics.  They work with organizations all across the world in diverse industries to help teams take advantage of the data that they’re already collecting.

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Greg Michaelson directs DataRobot Labs, an R&D and services group within DataRobot.  He lives in Charlotte, NC, with his wife, four children, clumber spaniel, and pet tarantula.

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