Best Age to Marry Climbing

Gallup Poll Shows America's Ideal Age Now 25 for Women, 27 for Men

Medically Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on June 23, 2006
From the WebMD Archives

June 23, 2006 -- The best age to get married is shifting higher in the mindsof Americans, with 25 now viewed as the ideal age for women, 27 for men.

That's up from an ideal age of 21 for women given in 1946. Americans thenthought men should be 25, according to a new Gallup Poll reporting the changein attitudes.

The poll showed that America's opinion about the best time to get marriedhas shifted dramatically over the last 60 years.

Best Age for 'I Do'

In 1946, 50% of Americans said women should be married by age 21, and only4% said women should be over the age of 25 when they marry.

In contrast, this year's annual poll showed the number of Americans whofavored women marrying by the age of 21 had dropped to 20%, while the numberpreferring an older age (30 years or more) for brides had tripled from 4% to12%.

As for men, only 11% of Americans today say men should be married by the ageof 21, while those who believe a man should be at least 30 before he walks downthe aisle also nearly tripled, from 11% in 1946 to 30% in 2006.

In addition, only 44% of Americans said men should be married by age 25,compared with 70% who felt that way 60 years ago.

Researchers say that despite the age shifts since 1946, the belief that menshould marry at a later age than women has been consistent over time.

They also found the ideal age voiced for marriage did not vary much by therespondent's gender, age, or religion.

However, those with a high school education or less were four times morelikely than those with some college to say a woman should be married by 21.

Show Sources

SOURCES: Gallop Poll, conducted via telephone, May 8-11, 2006, among a national sample of 500 adults aged 18 and older. News release, Gallup News Service.

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