US Marriage Age Oldest Ever
Women marrying at 26, men at 28
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2008 7:28 AM CST
A model walks the runway as part of Disney's 'Fall Fairy Tale Weddings' presentation. American brides are waiting longer than every before they tie the knot.    (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)
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(Newser) – American couples are waiting longer than ever to get married, reports USA Today. The median age for a first marriage is almost 26 for women and 28 for men—the oldest since the US Census started keeping track in the 1890s. The increase holds true for all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. Experts theorize that careers and a drive to first get lives "in order" is behind the delayed walk down the aisle.

The phenomenon has triggered a debate among sociologists about the ideal age for marriage. "It's better not to get married as a teenager. Beyond that, I don't think there's an ideal age," said a sociologist. "People are more concerned with their own self-development than they used to be. People are postponing marriage until everything in their lives is working in order."