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Reasons for the Increasing Age of Marriage

June 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 292

Society is constantly changing and along with this so are families. The typical family of two married parents and two-point-four children is a thing of the past. One family related change is the age at which the average person is getting married with people, on average, getting married significantly later in life than they were in previous generations. Women now get married aged twenty-nine on average while the average age for men is thirty-one. This is around five years later than in the 1960's, with averages having increased even more since the beginning of the twentieth century. There are a number of society changes that have caused this as well as financial reasons.

Getting married used to be 'something you did' and the vast majority of people would get married. In general, people got married young (in their early twenties) and had children soon after. It wouldn't be long after meeting a suitable partner that someone would marry. People now consider marriage more carefully before deciding whether or not to tie the knot. In the past, especially if you look back a hundred years or more, there was a more rigid structure to society in general. The typical family saw women stay at home and look after the children and men go out to work. Very few women would be in work while men helping with the housework was almost unheard of. Nowadays lifestyles are much more varied and some decide never to get married.

The majority of couples in the UK today live together prior to getting married, something that was almost never the case in the past when it wasn't considered socially acceptable. This can lead to marriage seeming like less of a rush. If a couple already live together then they may already live a lifestyle similar to a married couple and marrying may, therefore, not seem essential. If couples are unsure of whether or not to marry they have the option of waiting until they are certain. This leads to some not ever marrying even if they are in a long-term or life-long relationship. Unmarried couples having children is significantly more common today, with roughly half of new parents not married.

Women's role in society has particularly changed. Whereas once it was uncommon for women to work, now most will work at one time or another during their lifetime. A career is a priority for many women, more so than in the past. This can mean putting off getting married and having a family.

The financial side of weddings is another factor as they can be very expensive. Although they don't necessarily have to cost a lot, if you are getting married you want it to be special and probably don't want to do it cheaply. Due to the idea people have of a perfect wedding and the increasing amount they can cost many young adults don't have the required funds for the type of wedding they dream of. They therefore save up over a longer period of time.

The above is just a general look at some of the more obvious reasons why the average age of marriage has increased. There are, though, many reasons besides these that could also be influencing factors.

Andrew Marshall ©

Family Law

Source: EzineArticles
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