What Is the Average Age for Marriage?

What Is the Average Age for Marriage

I love big data.

Despite the media panic about the death of marriage, people are still getting married like nobody’s business. Statistics-based website, 538, plots out when people get married on a chart.

What do we see?

As of 2013, 4.6 percent of women and 4.3 percent of men 70 and older had never been married. Which is to say that over 95% of people HAVE been married.

At 35, 60% of men and women are married. For men, that number keeps going up. At 70, 74.5% of men are married. But for women, the pattern is different.

Take your love life seriously at a younger age instead of getting started when over 60% of the marriage-minded people are already off the market.

At age 48, 62.3 percent of women were wedded, and it goes down from there, likely due to a combination of divorce and death, not to mention because women tend to marry at a younger age, marry older men and live longer.

The median age that Americans got divorced from their first spouses is 32.0 years for men, 30.1 years for women, and got married for the second time is 35.8 years for men, 33.3 years for women.

Moral of the story, as always:

Don’t give up on marriage. It’s far from a dying institution.

Take your love life seriously at a younger age instead of getting started when over 60% of the marriage-minded people are already off the market.

It is, in fact, more difficult for older women to find good men, because 75% of men are married at age 70. Scarcity, indeed.

Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Elke

    I believe that many women don’t remarry because  they are finally free from being in the ‘carer’ role, some for many decades. Women traditionally bave undertaken most of the childcare and some carer for husband’s too.  I think they have a lot more freedom to loose than men. Also, women used to have marry to be financially secure eg. – get a loan to buy a house. This is no longer an issue with many more women being financially independent. This is why I am much more selective second time around and going with my ‘head’ to find some one of good character, compatable and respectful to have a 50/50 relationship with. Not a housekeeper for a grown up man., rather someone I can be a partner in crime with 🙂

  2. 2
    Ames

    I find this heartening but hope that the “married by 70” statistic isn’t just a reflection of baby boomers being from a pro marriage generation. I hope the Millennials or at least gen Xers are as likely to marry. Any way to know this?

    1. 2.1
      McLovin

      That’s exactly the flaw that is conveniently ignored by the pro-marriage folks.

       

      “95% of people 70 and older have been married before! See…marriage is just fine.”

       

      Ummm, people who are 70+ and married were raised in the 60’s and 70’s. The culture was quite different then, no? What people did who came of age in the 1960’s and 70’s has absolutely no bearing on what people who are coming of age in the 2000’s and 10’s are going to do.

       

      Such rosy analyses completely ignore the data we do have. Marriage rates are on a SHARP decline. In fact, if the trend line continues, almost nobody will be getting married in 50 years.

       

      Marriage is most certainly dying. I say good riddance.

      1. 2.1.1
        tonysam

        No, people 70-plus did NOT grow up during the sixties and seventies–try 1940s and 1950s.  The oldest baby boomers were born in 1946 and therefore came of age in the early 1960s.  This huge cohort extends well into the 6os, 70s, 80s, and 90s.

        1. Joe

          I think his point still stands–culture in the ’40s and ’50s was also different from today, and different even from the ’60s and ’70s.

          I don’t think you can claim boomers came of age in the ’90s, or even the ’80s…

  3. 3
    Mike

    They should really put an age limit on marriage. Make it something like 25 or at least 21. Anyone younger than that is too young and naive to be making such a massive life decision so early in their life.

    1. 3.1
      Theo

      Make it 30 for men 😉 Far too many young men get stuck in marriages that bring them down.

    2. 3.2
      Peter 51

      The Saxons considered that 14 year olds were capable of an independent working life but they weren’t allowed to marry with parental permission until 21. I think the same was true for most West Europeans of the peasant class. Aristocrats were married off very young. OTOH an aristocratic Roman man wasn’t a full adult until  30. His sister was at 16.

  4. 4
    Lucy

    I’m 25 and every time I log onto Facebook, someone is getting engaged or having a baby from my year group at High School. Almost makes me feel like I’m missing out. :/

    1. 4.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Nope. If they’re having babies at 25, 70% of them will be divorced in ten years.

    2. 4.2
      Christine

      As a 36 year old woman I’ve seen what happens to most of those 20-something married couples in 10 years.  Believe me that most of them (even if still married) don’t have the type of marriage I’d ever aspire to.  If I could, I’d tell my 25 year old self to relax and not to feel like I’m missing out, because I really wasn’t!

  5. 5
    candace

    I am getting married next wk thanks to religiously following this blog for yrs and implementing Evan’s material. I am 32 and dated my fiancee for over 2 yrs. I can’t believe how young the median age for divorce is for both sexes and eventhough I am getting married I pray this will be my one and only marriage though life is long! Numbers don’t lie as there are still plenty of people who are still single wanting to get married in their 30s even if it feels like the dating pool has gotten smaller.

  6. 6
    Peter 51

    Said before but long age: In Medieval Western Europe, the poor and the artisan men married around 26 to 30. Women from 21 to 25. In hard times the age gap was wide. In easy times it was about 2 years. The women worked as servants (everyone had them, it was a way of managing teenagers) so they had enough independence to choose a husband. To the East and South age of marriage was younger and more often arranged or constrained; for example to cousins. These differences are thought by some to be a big driver of NW European prosperity.

  7. 7
    Merit

    Great read! Thanks for awesome statistics!

  8. 8
    Olivia

    “Take your love life seriously at a younger age instead of getting started when over 60% of the marriage-minded people are already off the market.”    What does that mean!? Start looking for a spouse when you’re young because you may not have options when you get older?   How about recognize and develop good relationships (platonic and otherwise) when you’re young because that’s more beneficial to our health and happiness than marriage. 

  9. 9
    Nikkirose

    “Take your love life seriously at a younger age instead of getting started when over 60% of the marriage-minded people are already off the market.”

    Not everyone is ready to get married/be in a serious relationship when they are younger, and not everyone finds love as fast as they would like. Plus, maybe they would like to focus on their careers first and marry later. You can’t set a timeline that works for everyone.

    1. 9.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      You’re right.

      And yet I’d be an irresponsible dating coach if I failed to point out that you have more (and better) dating options at 30 than at 40.

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