If marriage is in your future, you may be interested to know that your chances of getting divorced could be linked to the age at which you get hitched. And, new stats suggest that saying your vows later in life isn’t necessarily better, reports Yahoo Health.
A few years back, sociologist Nicholas Wolfinger, PhD, of University of Utah noticed a strange new pattern across data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG): Marriage success and the age at which people married were not directly correlated (that is, in a straight line that showed increased success with increased marriage age, for example). Instead, there was a small age window in the late 20s and early 30s that touted the lowest divorce rates overall.
After a meta-analysis of over 10,000 NSFG respondents, plus a replication study conducted on his own, Dr. Wolfinger once again saw this remarkable U-shaped correlation, proving that what may have once been a linear relationship — marry as late as possible for the best chance of making it in the long haul — is now a sloping curve of delicate planning. Predictably, newlywed teens and early twentysomethings still run the greatest risk for divorce, but those who marry in their mid-30s and beyond run a similarly high risk.
These results suggest that the best time to get married is in the aptly-named “ Goldilocks age range” of 28 to 32.
What, exactly, happened between 1995 and 2013 to cause that sudden drop-off of marriage viability in the thirtysomething set? Many factors could be at play, from the sudden onset of hookup culture FOMO to difficulties accommodating a partner’s ways after “years spent flying solo,” as Yahoo suggests.
That 28-32 age range may seem later than ideal to some, but as new Gallup data confirms, people in their 20s and 30s are taking longer to tie the knot than they have in previous decades. They’re often opting for cohabitation without a ring rather than boarding the marriage train.
All we know for certain about the “Goldilocks age range” for marriage is this, straight from Dr. Wolfinger : “Its existence is beyond question.” So you may want to put away that wedding Pinterest board for another couple of years.