Best Age to Wed? Study Jabs Conventional Wisdom

Chance of divorce starts rising again in 30s
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2015 10:32 AM CDT
Wedding rings are shown.   (AP Photo/The Salvation Army, Salvation Army Lt. Michael Harper, File)

(Newser) – A standard line of advice about marriage these days is not to wed too young—and divorce stats about people getting hitched before age 20 back that up. But a new study out of the University of Utah adds a surprising twist: Don't wait too long, because the risk of divorce starts rising again in the early 30s, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. In sociologist Nicholas Wolfinger's stats, divorce rates steadily drop through the 20s and into the 30s—Vox sees a "sweet spot" in them for those getting married at ages 27 to 29—but then hit a tipping point at age 32. From then on, the risk of divorce starts ticking upward about 5% a year.

"Those who tie the knot after their early thirties are now more likely to divorce than those who marry in their late twenties," is Wolfinger's big takeaway, per the Washington Post. He floats some theories, including one that people who wait until their late 30s or beyond to wed "face a pool of potential spouses that has been winnowed down to exclude the individuals most predisposed to succeed at matrimony." A post at Slate sums it up as the "Goldilocks theory" on marriage: "Getting married too early is risky, but so is getting married too late. Your late 20s and early 30s are just right." (Click to read about how much weight marriage packs on.)

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