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- Americans have tended to get married at later ages in recent years.
- In 1962, 90% of 30-year-olds had been married at least once. By 2017, only 53.6% of 30-year-olds had been married.
It’s Valentine’s Day, and couples are celebrating their love for each other. Many of those couples, however, may not be overly eager to tie the knot: Americans aren’t getting married at young ages as often as they used to.
We looked at data from the US Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, a survey of US households that investigates various economic and social aspects of people’s lives. In particular, we used the individual-level Public Use Microdata Sample assembled by the Minnesota Population Center.
Using this data, we were able to estimate the number of people who identified as being married, separated, divorced, or widowed at each year of age. We estimated the percentage of people who had been married at least once in 1962, 1980, 2000, and 2017.
In 1962, half of 21-year-olds and 90% of 30-year-olds had been married at least once. In 2017, only 8.1% of 21-year-olds and 53.6% of 30-year-olds had been married.
Here’s the likelihood that a person has been married at least once at some point in his or her life for every year of age over the past few decades: