NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Put Off Marriage?

June 15, 2000

Statistics show that people are getting married at a later age. Also, more are living together before marriage, and more are opting for the single life.

Here are some of the facts:

  • The average age of first marriage for men is 27 today, 25 for women -- compared to the 1960s, when it was 23 and 20, respectively.
  • University of Wisconsin researchers discovered that the number of people living together before marriage has grown tenfold -- from just 430,000 in the 1960s to 4.26 million today.
  • Between 1960 and 1990, there was a 41 percent decline in marriage.
  • The number of never-married people jumped from 21 million in 1971 to 46 million in 1996.

Those who have tracked these trends say there are a number of factors at play -- including the fact that women are earning more and are more financially independent, fear of making a wrong match, a desire of those coming out of college to give initial priority to establishing their careers and a relaxation of society's moral imperatives.

Source: Cristin Kellogg, "More Wary Singles Put Off Weddings," Washington Times, June 15, 2000.


Browse more articles on Government Issues