Thursday, June 24, 2010

Is There An Age When You Should Be Married?

Many 30 somethings feel pressure from society, family, and friends to explain why they are not yet married.  Do the same pressures to get married exist for adults in 2010 that existed for those in 1900? If so, where do they come from?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age at first marriage in:

  • 1900 was 25.9 for men & 21.9 for women
  • 1950 was 22.8 for (m) & 20.3 for (w)
  • 1990 was 26.1 for (m) & 23.9 for (w)
  • 1995 was 26.9 for (m) & 24.5 for (w)
  • 2000 was 26.8 for (m) & 25.1 for (w)
  • 2008 was 27.6 for (m) & 25.9 for (w)
The numbers show that men and women are getting married later in life as time goes on.  While some are postponing marriage for many reasons (career, education, freedom, etc.) others still feel pressure to be married by a certain age.

Research on attitudes about marriage show that young people view marriage as important and most of them expect to get married.  

In fact, 83% of 20-24 year-olds expect to get married at some point with almost half expecting to marry within 10 years.  

Apparently, the ideals of young adults reinforce the expectation that people should be married during their 30s.     


  1. I would not say that an appropriate age exists; obviously there is no maximum or minimum. Despite the age that people trust themselves in to marriage, they still seem to end it. Maybe we should be looking toward maturity levels rather than assigning an age standard. That would prevent people from entering into such a serious commitment only to end it due to thoughtless acts based on immaturity (i.e., infidelity, etc.). Just my two cents :)

  2. Agreed. Maturity, stability, mental health, etc. are all more important than age. I just wonder if people (especially women) put too much pressure on themselves to fill the marriage expectation?