The average age at which women and men tie the knot has been gradually creeping up for a period of years now. Back in 1981 when a 20 year old Lady Diana Spencer wed Prince Charles the average age for marriages was just 23.1, a stark contrast to a 29 year old Kate Middleton marrying Prince William and an average marriage age of 30 for women and 32.1 for men.
This research also comes alongside a recent batch of figures which confirm that the number of marriages is at an all time low, with fewer individuals saying their vows in 2009 than in any year since recordings first started in 1895.
Jenny North from counselling charity Relate, said: “A continued fall in marriage rates and numbers is no great shock to Relate, but it is worrying. Research shows us that the aspiration to marry is still high amongst the younger generation of the UK, but fewer and fewer are fulfilling that aspiration.
“There is evidence that couples are setting themselves a ‘to do’ list before getting married – perhaps buying a house, getting the perfect job or buying the dream car. As money gets tighter, these things get harder to achieve, and we could see less couples tying the knot as a result.”
Anastasia de Wall, director of family at the think tank Civitas is also concerned. She commented that even though a larger number of women going to university means that marriage ages would increase, financial insecurity and high unemployment levels mean that many people who want to get married can’t afford to do so.