From Our 2009 Archives
Who Marries and When
Most Americans Get Married by Age 35, but Odds Are Stacked Against Some Groups
Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD
June 30, 2009 -- Only 17% of American women haven't married by age 35, compared to 25% of men, new research indicates.
But many people marry a lot younger, the study indicates.
There's a 50% probability that women will marry for the first time by age 25, researchers say; the probability of marriage for men doesn't hit 50% until age 27.
The report, published today as the National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief No. 19, is part of the Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy Marriage Initiative, which is investigating matrimonial trends because, the authors say, marriage has "potential benefits."
Results are based on the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, which involved 12,571 people -- 4,928 males and 7,643 females between 15 and 44 years old.
The report "Who Marries and When? Age at First Marriage in the United States: 2002," also shows that:
The researchers are studying marriage trends because wedded people, they write, "tend to exhibit greater physical, emotional, and economic well-being" than their unmarried counterparts. "And children in households with two married parents differ from those in other types of households on measures such as child achievement," they write.
The researchers also found striking differences among racial and ethnic groups. For example:
Other intriguing findings:
The authors are Paula Goodwin, PhD, Brittany McGill, MPP, and Anjani Chandra, PhD. Goodwin is at the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, and McGill is a doctoral student at the University of Maryland. Both are formerly with the National Center for Health Statistics of the CDC, where Chandra works.
SOURCES: Goodwin, P. NCHS Data Brief, no. 19, June 2009.
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