Men and women are getting married later than ever before, pushing 30 by the time they walk down the aisle. The Brookings Institution put together a report on the current state of marriage in the U.S., Knot Yet, about this fascinating shift, which transcends socioeconomic status.
“Culturally, young adults have increasingly come to see marriage as a ‘capstone’ rather than a ‘cornerstone,'” say the researchers. “That is, something they do after they have all their other ducks in a row, rather than a foundation for launching into adulthood and parenthood.”
They found that women are now getting married at 27, and men at 29, on average. This mostly benefits college-educated women who marry after 30; they make $18,152 more than women who marry earlier. With men, it’s a different story; they make more money if they get married in their 20s.
“Men who had never married had some of the lowest levels of personal income—lower even than those who married before age 20,” the researchers report. “Marriage makes men, including twentysomething men, harder, smarter, and better-paid workers.”
However, they also found that people who marry later aren’t necessarily happier, and married couples report being more satisfied with their lives:
30-five per cent of single men and cohabiting men report they are “highly satisfied” with their life, compared to 52 per cent of married men. Likewise, 33 per cent of single women and 29 per cent of cohabiting women are “highly satisfied,” compared to 47 per cent of married women.
Here are some interesting charts from the report:
Brookings InstitutionMen still get married later than women:
Brookings InstitutionWomen of all education levels earn more the later they marry:
Brookings InstitutionPostponing marriage primarily helps women economically:
Brookings InstitutionFor men, it’s not the case:
Brookings InstitutionAnd across the board, most men and women want to marry:
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