A new Gallup Poll shows that the average American believes 25 is the best age for a woman to marry and 27 is the best age for a man. Relatively few Americans believe that women should be married by age 21, a dramatic shift from a 1946 Gallup Poll. The median ideal age for women to marry has increased from 21 in 1946 to 25 today, while the ideal age for men has shown a smaller increase.
What Does An Ideal Mean?
I think an ideal reflects the beliefs that people hold rather than what is typical. I also think ideals can be dangerous. For women who are over the age of 25 may be wondering whether or not something is wrong with them if they are not married, although to be truthful there will be very few men who at the age of 27 or older who would be asking the same question.
In ten years, I would be interested to see if the gallop poll finds that the ideal puts the ages of those getting married closer to 30 than they are now as many couples I know were getting married (for the first time) when the bride was 29 or older and the grooms were anywhere between 30 and 35.
What I Found Most Interesting About the Poll
What I found most interesting about the poll is that 20% felt that the ideal age for women to marry was at 21 or younger and 42% thought women should be between the ages of 22 and 25. Yet for men, they split the differences 33% felt the ideal age for men was between 22 and 25 while another 30% thought men should be 30 or older.
Opinions have shifted significantly since 1946, but that’s hardly surprising – in 1946 we were still recovering from a World War and the devastating loss of millions in the war overseas. We were also beginning the age of the baby boomer.
What do you think of these statistics and what do you think the ideal age of marriage for men and women is?