Even though Americans are marrying older, the divorce rate has remained high, a new government report shows.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers found that the median age for women getting hitched for the first time has risen to almost 26 and to over 28 for men.
Among women there was just a 52 percent chance that a first marriage would survive for 20 years, according to the report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. Men appeared to be slightly more successful, with a 56 percent chance of a first marriage surviving for two decades.
The older marriage age doesn’t mean that people aren’t getting into relationships – they’re just choosing to live together instead. “There’s been a real rise in the prevalence of cohabitation,” said the report’s lead author, Casey E. Copen, a demographer with the National Survey of Family Growth at the National Center for Health Statistics.
The percentage of women living with a partner (as opposed to marrying him) has nearly quadrupled from 3 percent in 1982 to 11 percent in the newest survey. The earlier surveys included data only from women so the researchers couldn’t look at whether there had been a change in the rate at which men were choosing to live together rather than to marry.