Estimated Median Age of First Marriage by Gender: 1890 to 2015

Couples Are Waiting Longer to Get Married Every Year

Wedding Rings
Photo Credit: Jason & Alyssa De Rusha

There has been a change in the median age at first marriage for both men and women, and the amount of change appears to be getting larger. Here are the statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau of the median age at first marriage and a graph of the data going back to 1890. 

According to Pew Research Center, "marriage continues to lose market share among Americans to other arrangements, such as cohabitation or living alone. According to census data cited in the report, barely half of adults ages 18 and older are married— 51% in 2010, compared with 72% in 1960. This decline is especially notable for young adults: 20% of 18- to 29-year-olds were married in 2010, compared with 59% in 1960. Associated with this trend is that the age at which men and women marry for the first time continues to rise to record levels." 

It is notable that public attitudes about marriage are changing. Approximately 39% of Americans believe that marriage is becoming obsolete. Despite this, a majority of people who have never married say they would like to marry someday.

Year --- Men --- Women

2015 ---- 29.2 ----27.1

2014 ----29.3 ---- 27.0

2013 ----29.0 ----26.6

2012 --- 28.6 --- 26.6
2011 --- 28.7 --- 26.5
2010 --- 28.2 --- 26.1

2009 --- 28.1 --- 25.9
2008 --- 27.6 --- 25.9
2007 --- 27.5 --- 25.6
2006 --- 27.5 --- 25.5
2005 --- 27.1 --- 25.3
2004 --- 27.4 --- 25.3
2003 --- 27.1 --- 25.3
2002 --- 26.9 --- 25.3
2001 --- 26.9 --- 25.1
2000 --- 26.8 --- 25.1

1999 --- 26.9 --- 25.1
1998 --- 26.7 --- 25.0
1997 --- 26.8 --- 25.0
1996 --- 27.1 --- 24.8
1995 --- 26.9 --- 24.5
1994 --- 26.7 --- 24.5
1993 --- 26.5 --- 24.5
1992 --- 26.5 --- 24.4
1991 --- 26.3 --- 24.1
1990 --- 26.1 --- 23.9
1989 --- 26.2 --- 23.8

1988 --- 25.9 --- 23.6
1987 --- 25.8 --- 23.6
1986 --- 25.7 --- 23.1
1985 --- 25.5 --- 23.3
1984 --- 25.4 --- 23.0
1983 --- 25.4 --- 22.8
1982 --- 25.2 --- 22.5
1981 --- 24.8 --- 22.3
1980 --- 24.7 --- 22.0
1979 --- 24.4 --- 22.1

1978 --- 24.2 --- 21.8
1977 --- 24.0 --- 21.6
1976 --- 23.8 --- 21.3
1975 --- 23.5 --- 21.1
1974 --- 23.1 --- 21.1
1973 --- 23.2 --- 21.0
1972 --- 23.3 --- 20.9
1971 --- 23.1 --- 20.9
1970 --- 23.2 --- 20.8
1969 --- 23.2 --- 20.8

1968 --- 23.1 --- 20.8
1967 --- 23.1 --- 20.6
1966 --- 22.8 --- 20.5
1965 --- 22.8 --- 20.6
1964 --- 23.1 --- 20.5
1963 --- 22.8 --- 20.5
1962 --- 22.7 --- 20.3
1961 --- 22.8 --- 20.3
1960 --- 22.8 --- 20.3
1959 --- 22.5 --- 20.2

1958 --- 22.6 --- 20.2
1957 --- 22.6 --- 20.3
1956 --- 22.5 --- 20.1
1955 --- 22.6 --- 20.2
1954 --- 23.0 --- 20.3
1953 --- 22.8 --- 20.2
1952 --- 23.0 --- 20.2
1951 --- 22.9 --- 20.4
1950 --- 22.8 --- 20.3
1949 --- 22.7 --- 20.3

1948 --- 23.3 --- 20.4
1947 --- 23.7 --- 20.5
1940 --- 24.3 --- 21.5

1930 --- 24.3 --- 21.3

1920 --- 24.6 --- 21.2

1910 --- 25.1 --- 21.6

1900 --- 25.9 --- 21.9

1890 --- 26.1 --- 22.0

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the figures reported for 1947 to 1999 are based on Current Population Survey data. The figures for years prior to 1947 are based on decennial censuses. A standard error of 0.1 years is appropriate to measure sampling variability for any of the above estimated median ages at first marriage -- based on Current Population Survey data.

Sources:
U.S. Census Bureau: Valentine's Day 2013: Feb. 14. Released by the U.S. Census Bureau's Public Information Office. 2/12/2013.

U.S. Census Bureau: Table MS-2. Estimated Median Age at First Marriage, by Sex: 1890 to the Present. Release date: May 2011.

U.S. Census Bureau: Technical Documentation -- Current Population Survey.

U.S. Census Bureau: Annual Social and Economic Supplement: 2003 Current Population Survey -- Current Population Reports -- Series P20-553 -- America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2003 and earlier reports.

*Article updated by Marni Feuerman

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