Nobody seems to have a good explanation for it, but American adults are increasingly delaying marriage. According to the most recent population survey by the U.S. Census bureau, the median age at first marriage in the U.S. is now nearing age 30—29.8 for men and 27.8 for women. That’s up from 27.1 and 25.3 years old back in 2003.
Today, just 29% of adults age 18-34 are married, compared to 59% in 1978. Another statistic: among persons age 18 to 24, cohabitation with an unmarried partner is now more prevalent than living with a spouse (9% compared to 7%). Meanwhile, a whopping 54% of young adults age 18-24 still live in their parents’ home.
Overall, the number of single-person households—often the result of divorce or unwed parenthood, is up dramatically. In 2018, single-person households represented 28% of the total, compared with 13% in 1960.
You can see from the graphic that there has been a rather sharp trend toward marrying later in life, starting around 1970, and there is no obvious sign that the trend will level off or reverse itself. It makes you wonder what the world will be like in another 20 years.