Fascinating Marriage Trends from Around the Globe

How old will you be when you get married? The answer to that question depends in part on where you live. Around the world, average marrying age differs, with some countries having an average marrying age of 20.2 years while in others it’s 34.5 years. Despite this vast difference in age, however, there is one trend that’s happening all around the globe: people are getting married later in life, and in some cases not at all.

Countries with lower incomes—such as Afghanistan, Angola, Congo, Uzbekistan, and Paraguay—typically have the lowest average age. On the other hand, people living in more developed and wealthy countries, such as those in Western Europe, average in their thirties before marrying. In all countries, men tend to be older than women when they marry. In thirty -nine countries, 20% of women are married by age 15. On the other hand, in only two countries are at least 10% of men married before age 18.

The graphic below was created by Pricenomics, and displays the average age of marriage across the world:


image via Pricenomics

In the United States, the numbers sit between the two extremes, with average marrying age sitting at 26.5 years for women and 28.7 years for men. And while it’s still true that the majority of American adults are married today (51%), that number is down from 72% in 1960.

Should we be worried about marriages “dying out?” Not just yet. Though we’re now waiting longer to get married, most Americans (72%) have been married at some point. Some believe that marriage is becoming obsolete, but at the same time, getting married is something that most (61%) never-married people would like to do someday. And we’ve also got to keep in mind that the average lifespan today is longer than it ever has been before.

How do you weigh in? Do you think that marriage is becoming outdated and obsolete? Or are young adults simply delaying marriage until a later date?


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