National Center for Family and Marriage Research Family Profiles

Document Type

Report

Abstract

The median age at first marriage in the United States has increased steadily since the mid-20th century. In the mid-1950s, the median age was at a record low of just over 20 for women and 22 for men, but by 2020, the median age was 28 for women and 30 for men (see Figure 1). The median age at first marriage has increased similarly for both men and women. Consequently, the gender gap in the median age at first marriage has persisted, fluctuating between 1.6 and 2.7 years. This profile uses data from the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS), 1-year estimates to track the trends in women’s and men’s median ages at first marriage. The ACS is ideal because it provides the best annual data on marital status and demographic characteristics allowing for direct estimation of the median age at first marriage (Simmons & Dye, 2004). This is an update to our previous profiles on the topic for the years 2017 (FP-19-06), 2014 (FP-16-07), 2013 (FP-15-05), 2010 (FP-12-07), and 2008 (FP-09-03).

Publication Date

2021

Publisher

National Center for Family and Marriage Research

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