Marrying Age

This is when Americans get married.

People get married at various ages, but there are definite trends that vary across demographic groups. You’ve probably experienced this, either through your own marriage or via the sudden realization that everyone around you seems to be getting married. Good times.

So what do these trends look like? When do people of various races usually get married? Does it change by education level? Employment status? The interactive chart below provides the answers.

Using data from the American Community Survey, made more useable by the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, I tabulated the ages of people who married between 2009 and 2014.

So for each demographic group, you can see the typical age people were when they married. The green line is for women, and the orange line is for men. Click the checkbox to toggle between first-time marriages only and all marriages during the timespan.

As one might expect, women tend to marry at a younger age than men, regardless of the demographic group. The median age of women marrying for the first time was 26, and the median age of men marrying for the first time was two years older at 28. Similarly, for marriages overall, not just the first-time marriages, the medians for women and men was 29 and 31, respectively.

Median is just a broad measurement though. Looking at the full distributions, it’s interesting how much smoother the lines get as you go from high school level education up to advanced. Or, toggle between employed and unemployed and there’s a clear difference.

It basically follows the same pattern as in the movies. You find stability in your own life, and you get married.

As a Chinese male, I was particularly interested in the Asian group. Apparently I got married relatively early, as Asians appear to get married the latest. I suspect it has something to do with years spent on education. Go to college, earn an advanced degree, and a spouse magically appears, because, well, now you’re fit to be a spouse.

Is it your time yet?

Getting-Married-Later-largerSeven year itch: When do people get married and divorced?

Marrying age keeps changing. Here’s the trend since 1986.

Become a member. Learn to visualize data. From beginner to advanced.

Join Today

Membership

This is for people interested in the process of creating, designing, and exploring data graphics. Your support goes directly to FlowingData, an independently run site.

What You Get

  • Instant access to tutorials on how to make and design data graphics
  • Source code and files to use with your own data
  • In-depth courses on visualization in R
  • Hand-picked links and resources from around the web
  • Members-only newsletter

Favorites

Best Data Visualization Projects of 2016

Here are my favorites for the year.

Cuisine Ingredients

What are the ingredients that make each cuisine? I looked at 40,000 recipes spanning 20 cuisines and 6,714 ingredients to see what makes food taste different.

Divorce Rates for Different Groups

We know when people usually get married. We know who never marries. Finally, it’s time to look at the other side: divorce and remarriage.

Shifting Incomes for American Jobs

For various occupations, the difference between the person who makes the most and the one who makes the least can be significant.