Average age for couples getting married is on the rise

When Pete Munsey and Jannifer Anderson-Munsey exchanged marriage vows last year, they considered themselves emotionally and financially secure in making that life-long commitment to one another.
And, with Mr. Munsey being 42 and Ms. Anderson-Munsey being 36 at the time of their November, 2006 nuptials, they also felt like they were mature enough for marriage.
“Looking back, I had a lot of growing up to do in my 30s,” said Mr. Munsey, a parishioner at St. Pius X, Rodgers Forge. “I also had a cynical view of marriage. I also hadn’t found the right person. Once I did, my hesitations about marriage melted away. I knew I wanted to be married to Jan.”
Ms. Anderson-Munsey spent her 20s getting a college education, traveling and building a career in the insurance industry and didn’t feel like she was emotionally prepared for marriage until she was in her 30s.
“By then I was more settled in my career and mature enough for that kind of a commitment,” the Towson resident said. “Plus, I found the right guy.”
TheMunseys are older than most couples getting married in the United States today, but statistics show that men and woman in general are older when they tie the knot than their 1950s counterparts.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average age for men getting married in 1950 was 22 and for women it was 20, compared to 2003, when the average age for men was 27 and it was 25 for women.
“More people go to college now than they did in the 1950s,” said Father John P. Cunningham, pastor of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Pasadena. “A lot of the couples want to first have an education and then start paying back their loans for their education and get started in their careers before making that long-term commitment.”
Though Father P. Edward Kenny Jr., pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption, Govans, said he marries couples who are in their 50s as well as their 20s, the standard age for those exchanging vows at his church are in their middle 20s to early 30s.
“The couples who are between 20 and 22 tend to be men and woman who have chosen not to go to college,” Father Cunningham said. “Men and woman who go to college tend to be a little older when they get married.”

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.