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Changes in the age at first marriage since 1940.

Publication Year: 
Corporate Author: 
National Healthy Marriage Resource Center.
Fact Sheet
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This fact sheet reports men and women are waiting until they are older to marry for the first time in 2004 compared to when they married in 1960. Statistics are shared that indicates in 1960 the median age at first marriage was 20.3 for women and 22.8 for men, while by 2004 these ages had risen to 25.8 for women and 27.4 years for men. In addition, compared with other regions of the world, people in the U.S. and Northwestern Europe marry for the first time at later ages and a larger proportion remain single and live in nuclear families rather than extended families. Differences in population groups are also discussed and indicate women living outside urban areas tend to marry at younger ages and are more likely to be married when they have their first children, while those in urban areas are more likely to be living with an unmarried partner. The higher percentage of divorce among those married younger than 18 is noted.

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