National Center for Family and Marriage Research Family Profiles

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Tracking of the age at first marriage has traditionally focused on all marriages, not considering the gender composition of the couple. After the legalization of marriage for all couples in the U.S. occurred in 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau changed their data collection to directly query respondents about same-sex and different-sex partnerships (see Manning and Payne, 2021). This profile uses data from the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS), 1-year estimates to determine men’s and women’s median ages at first marriage who are in different-sex and same-sex marriages. The ACS is ideal because it provides the best annual data on marriages in the last year and a large sample size allowing for direct estimation of the median age at first marriage (Simmons & Dye, 2004). Based on the ACS, there were about 50,000 same-sex first marriages and 1.2 million different-sex first marriages in 2019.

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National Center for Family and Marriage Research