Age to Marry… Sooner or Later?

I was taking a break today to read the news, and what do you know, there was an article about what age to marry. In 1890 the average age to marry for men was 26 and for women 22. The average age to marry dropped significantly in the 1960’s and is now the highest since the census began in the late 1800’s.


Personally I felt on the younger side — I was 26 and Mr. Onion was 27 when we were married last September. But according to the census, this is exactly the average age for 2007. I was the first of my friends to marry, so that also added to my perception of “average.” I think a lot of your perceptions of the best age to marry has to do with where you live and of course your circumstances. Many couples wait until they are finished with degrees (undergraduate or graduate), while some just don’t find “the one” until later in life. There is so much societal pressure for so many women to get married by a certain age. People have strong opinions — “Oh you’re too young to get married,” or “What are you waiting for? You’re not getting any younger!”

Also, your “plan” changes along the way. If you’d asked me when I was in college when I thought I’d get married, I would have said my early 30’s. But then I fell in love and suddenly the time line I had in mind didn’t matter anymore.

Do you think, like John Van Epp suggests in the article, that we are so confident now in fertility treatments to take care of us, that we wait longer to marry and have a family? What age do you think is ideal for women and men to marry and why?


Mrs. Onion

NYC/Burlington, VT
Wedding Date:
September 2007
Dancing Shoes: Necessity or Frivolity?
Married in Montana: Chaos at Cracker Lake

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  1. Member
    mooreshugar 103 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:49 am

    i wonder how the average ages differ throughout the different regions of the country. After living in the midwest, texas, and east coast, I def. see differences. It seems like people get married down south a lot earlier than people in the north.

    I’m not sure why this is, perhaps the bible belt affect, that their beliefs suggest needing to be married before living together, or sleeping together, or just tradition, or another reason all together.

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    oncearound, Guest @ 6:25 am

    I really don’t think there is an average age anymore. I knew of many young couples marrying in college or right out of college and thinking how great it was to be in love and have all their ducks in a row: an education, a job, a marriage before the age of 25. Most that I know now who married young are divorced, getting divorced, or are looking for casual affairs on the internet. This can happen at any age, but those who marry young should remember life doesn’t follow a linear time line, and people change, and marriage takes serious work. I married in my 30’s, and my husband and I never once thought about how we missed out by not marrying younger, biological clocks, or anything of the sort. Just how lucky we were to have never compromised on a perfect match out of fear of being alone or childless. And how lucky we were to have found each other. (And also how ironic it was to have many friends and colleagues once blissfully married with kids, now at our age, constantly on

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Paula, Guest @ 1:30 pm

    Ok. So, I like’m young. He’s 28-I’m 56. We love each other and want to marry. Everybody thinks we are crazy. How do I not allow others to mess with this relationship with their own ‘izms..’ and just be happy for us. If there is a mistake made, we will make it. Friends are suppose to support you or else they are not friends. Just curious- are there any stats on a relationship working with this large of a gap?

  4. Member
    ilovenycmissie 1555 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:07 pm

    yeah I know a lot depends on location, for example, in NYC I have many girlfriends late 20’s and early 30’s still not hitched or in a serious relationship, one is because of the type of dating pool where in big cities men want to have a good time and not settle down,and two, the big city attracts a certain personality and many professionals; in the south in small towns where it is not as career driven people tend to marry younger; so it depends on location and frame of mind

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