Title The wait debate: Why millennials won’t get married before they’re 36 Degree of recognition Regional Media name/outlet The West Australian Media type Country/Territory Australia Date 4/05/21 Description Millennials do not want to get married until they are 36, research suggests — a whopping six years after baby boomers think they should.
A survey of 2000 Australians by dating website eharmony revealed stark generational gaps in expectations around marriage and babies.
Baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — believe that 30 is the ideal age to tie the knot. Millennials, who were born between 1981 and 1996, think it’s 36.
According to Lara McKenzie, a Research Fellow at UWA, the delay is often a “pragmatic” decision for younger people. “One explanation for this gap — although not the only one — is the costs and time pressures associated with marriage and children,” Dr McKenzie said.
“The amount of time people spend in education has increased in recent decades, and many people also want to spend time establishing a career. There’s also increased financial constraints: needing to pay mortgages, debts, or to save up for a wedding or children.”
The age that people choose to walk down the aisle has been rising for decades.
In 1971 the median age for men to marry was 23.4 years, and 21.1 years for women. In 2019 the median age for men had risen to 32.3 years, and 30.05 years for women.
With younger generations hoping to delay nuptials until their late 30s, it’s likely to rise higher still.
Newlyweds aged 35 and above are increasingly visible in popular culture. In the TV show The Big Bang Theory, protagonist Sheldon Cooper is 37 when he marries his 38-year-old love interest Amy. In Sex and the City, Carrie is 40 when she marries the 65-yearold Mr Big.
Across all age groups, the average age that women want to tie the knot is 32, while men want to wait until 35.
Of all survey respondents, 45 per cent believed that marriage had become “less important” to young people.
However, Dr Mckenzie disputes this idea.
“I would say that marriage is less required and expected than previously but not necessarily less important to people,” she said.
“One thing that comes across in my own research is that couple relationships — marriages or otherwise — are still a major part of people’s everyday lives,” she said.
According to the eharmony survey, 43 per cent of people still think that children should come after marriage.
At what age those children should arrive is a divisive question.
Boomers think 31 is the best age to have a baby, while millennials think it’s 37.
Producer/Author Charlotte Elton URL https://thewest.com.au/lifestyle/weddings/research-by-eharmony-reveals-millennials-dont-want-to-marry-until-years-after-baby-boomers-think-they-should-ng-b881862200z Persons Lara McKenzie