Friday, August 26, 2011

Americans wait longer to take marriage plunge

Americans are in step with the worldwide trend to wait longer to marry for the first time, taking that initial walk down the aisle six years later than they did four decades ago.

The U.S. Census Bureau, in the first analysis of its kind, reported Thursday from Washington that as a whole, since 1970, the median age men get married has risen from 22.5 to 28.4, while women are becoming first-time brides at 26.5 on average, compared to 20.6.

The percentage of women getting married in their teens has also declined since 1970, according to the latest figures, based on 2009 data.

International figures indicate a distinct trend in waiting longer to legally become man and wife.

According to Statistics Canada, for instance, in 2003, when Ontario and British Columbia became the first two provinces to legalize same-sex marriage, the average age of marriage to someone of the opposite sex was 30.6 years for men and 28.5 years for women — an increase of about five years for both sexes since 1973.

In 2002, the average age of marriage in Canada was 30.4 years for men and 28.3 years for women, according to the data released in 2007.

In countries including the United Kingdom, Austria, Norway, Hong Kong and China, first-time marriages are now in the late 20s for women and early 30s for men. more