Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Age of Marriage

I was surprised the other day when I found out that my daughter’s young adult class leader tried to tell her that she needed to go to Walla Walla University not for any primarily educational reasons but to find a nice Adventist husband. I remember when I was in Academy that I first heard the term Mrs degree. In the 1970’s it appeared to be one of the important functions of the Adventist college system to connect young men and women in matrimony with perhaps a side benefit of some education. Here are some statistics on the age of marriage in the 70’s:

Year --- Men --- Women

1979 --- 24.4 --- 22.1
1978 --- 24.2 --- 21.8
1977 --- 24.0 --- 21.6
1976 --- 23.8 --- 21.3
1975 --- 23.5 --- 21.1
1974 --- 23.1 --- 21.1
1973 --- 23.2 --- 21.0
1972 --- 23.3 --- 20.9
1971 --- 23.1 --- 20.9
1970 --- 23.2 --- 20.8

Interestingly for women from 1947-72 all are 20 years of age, the difference is only after the decimal. If we assume the general age for a college student is from 18-22 freshmen to senior then by these statistics if the woman went to college it is highly likely that she met her husband in college or university.

Statistics are a bit different from the days when many of us were in high school or college, the most recent statistics:

Year --- Men --- Women

2003 --- 27.1 --- 25.3
2002 --- 26.9 --- 25.3
2001 --- 26.9 --- 25.1
2000 --- 26.8 --- 25.1

Now using our 18-22 age generalization women are getting married 2-3 years after graduating from college or university. So unless they have an extending engagement they are less likely to meet their spouse in College.

Welcome to the 21st century, education for the sake of education rather then matrimony, what a novel concept.

1 comment:

Becky said...

The average age of matrimony is quite fascinating, actually. And I find it amusing that your daughter was told she should go to WWU to find a husband. It's true, a lot of students find a spouse here (I work at the university), but not everyone does, and it is certainly not on everyone's minds at the forefront. There are a lot of students here who are focused on getting an education and starting a career, and love and relationships are just kind of bonus items. WWU is a good school, and I do highly recommend the education available here, but no one should choose a school based on their reputation for providing an "MRS" degree. What is your daughter interested in studying?