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Youth Indicators, 2005: Trends in the Well-Being of American Youth

Indicator 4: Marriage

Figure 4. Median age at first marriage, by sex: Various years, 1950 to 2003

Median age at first marriage, by sex: Various years, 1950 to 2003
NOTE: Some data have been revised from previously published figures.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Marital Status Historical Time Series Table MS-2: Estimated Median Age at First Marriage, by Sex: 1890 to the Present, 2003.

The median age at first marriage in 1950 was 23 for males and 20 for females. Changes in median age at first marriage were small (about half year or less) during the years between 1950 and 1970 for both sexes. The median age for males at first marriage ranged from 22.8 to 23.2 years between 1950 and 1970, while the average for females ranged from 20.2 to 20.8. Between 1970 and 2003, the median age at first marriage increased from 23 in 1970 to 27 in 2003 for males, and from 21 in 1970 to 25 in 2003 for females. The percentage of the population 15 years old and over who were married decreased steadily between 1970 and 2003, from 64 percent in 1970 to 56 percent in 2003.


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