Marriage rates and end game spinster predictions

Previous reddit post on statistics. I know Dalrock has covered it too a while back when it came out.

For men: https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/AjCBx/1/

Bentley article on predictions. Here are the interesting excerpts.

Today an unprecedented portion of millennials will remain unmarried through age 40, a recent Urban Institute report predicted. The marriage rate might drop to 70 percent — a figure well below rates for boomers (91 percent), late boomers (87 percent) and Gen Xers (82 percent). And declines might be even sharper if marriage rates recover slowly, or not at all, from pre-recession levels, according to the report.

Traditional marriage has been on a downward trajectory for generations, but with this group it appears to be in free fall. According to a report released last month by the Pew Research Center, 25 percent of millennials are likely to never be married.

So this is what we have:

  • In 1980, 95% of all women got married by 45 years old.
  • In 2016, 85% of all women have gotten married by 45 years old.

That number is expected to increase to the 25-30% range for millennials (e.g. born 1982-2004) according to these predictions. So theoretically, the last millennials would be 45 in 2049.

Young couples are opting to live together and put off marriage for later, if at all. About a quarter of unmarried young adults (ages 25 to 34) are living with a partner, according to Pew Research analysis of Current Population Survey data.

Average married age of women and men is 27 and 29. Therefore, we can estimate that this number is about ~40% unmarried for that particulate age range or so due to 27-29 being on the earlier side of 30 which is in the middle. That would mean that about 10% of unmarried young adults are cohabiting.

Marriage has lost much of its social allure, but remains a desired milestone for about 70 percent of millennials. They say they would like to marry, but many — especially those with lower levels of income and education — lack what they deem to be a necessary prerequisite: a solid economic foundation.

Ironically, it’s marriage that actually staves off poverty. One income with stay at home motherhood is generally a feature of upper middle class; two incomes tend to bring a family out of poverty income levels.

“Even as marriage rates have plummeted — particularly for the young and the less educated — Gallup survey data show that young singles very much hope to get hitched. Of Americans age 18 to 34, only about nine percent have both never been married and say they do not ever want to marry,” she wrote.

So about 10% say they don’t want to get married and never have been married. 18-34 is a pretty big population range for singles. If average age of marriage for women is 27 and 29 for men, then that probably encompasses about 60-70% of the population. Let’s say it’s about 2/3rds of the population, so about 6% of millennials never want to get married. 94% want to get married.

Here’s the margins

  • Currently, 85% of all women have gotten married by 45.
  • About 10% cohabitate.
  • Predicted by 2049 that 25-30% of women will have not been married by 45.

This leaves us with:

  • 6% never want to get married
  • 10% cohabitation
  • 70-75% married
  • 94% want to get married.

This leaves us with:

  • 9-14% “unwanted spinsterhood” — about 1 in 10 women
  • 19-24% “unwanted cohabitation and unwanted spinsterhood” — about 2 in 10 women

That’s a decent chunk of the female population that will have to settle for unwanted cohabitation and unwanted spinsterhood. We’ll see how this plays into affecting the narrative. The loudest cries are always at the margins.

Edit: Fuzziewuzziebear makes a good comment:

The problem with this is that it fails to take into account women who have divorced and don’t remarry. There have to be a terrible lot of them. At a guess. let’s say it doubles the numbers. With eighteen to twenty eight percent of women unlikely to marry, they should be screaming.

About 50% of women remarry after divorce. 1st marriage divorce rate is currently approximately between 30-40%. Therefore, there are another 15-20% of women who are single divorcees.

Bonus: Kate Bolick of the oft referenced All the Single Ladies article that has gone around a lot has a book on spinsterhood aptly named “Spinster” trying to ‘spin’ it in a positive light. The media agrees with her narrative obviously.

The rest of the article is blustering to try to rationalize the “changing views” of marriage. Not worth the time reading.

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25 Responses to Marriage rates and end game spinster predictions

  1. Matt Lawrence says:

    As someone who would still like to have a family, why should I even date any women who are past their expiration date?
    Mind you, I know a number of men who have had children and are now either divorced or widowed who are quite interested in the over 40 or even the over 50 crowd. It’s great for them, but not for me.

  2. @ Matt Lawrence

    You shouldn’t if you don’t want to, but apparently a lot of men still don’t care that much.

    I would aim for women in the 20-25 age range if you’re still a young man. If you’re younger 30s, the 23-27 range is solid. If you’re older, it just depends since larger age gaps are more common.

  3. For this type of date, the parts in the middle are more interesting.

    The 50% level was attained by Age 22 from the 1980 date. It’s Age 29 in the 2015 data. That’s the massive shift.

  4. fuzziewuzziebear says:

    The problem with this is that it fails to take into account women who have divorced and don’t remarry. There have to be a terrible lot of them. At a guess. let’s say it doubles the numbers. With eighteen to twenty eight percent of women unlikely to marry, they should be screaming.

  5. thedeti says:

    Matt Lawrence: Under no circumstances should you marry a woman who is 2 more years older than you are.

  6. thedeti says:

    Should be “2 or more years older”

  7. @ fuzziewuzziebear

    The problem with this is that it fails to take into account women who have divorced and don’t remarry. There have to be a terrible lot of them. At a guess. let’s say it doubles the numbers. With eighteen to twenty eight percent of women unlikely to marry, they should be screaming.

    You are correct.

    About 50% of women remarry after divorce. 1st marriage divorce rate is currently approximately between 30-40%.

    Therefore, there are another 15-20% of women who are single divorcees.

  8. @ Elspeth, deti,

    Old data but:

    This paper analyzes the probability of a married couple getting divorced, based on the age difference between the husband and wife. To calculate such probabilities, the distribution of age differences of married couples was derived from the 1991 Census and the 1990 General Social Survey, and the distribution of age differences of divorcing couples was obtained from 1991 divorce data provided by the Department of Justice Canada. These distributions, the first based on data that are seldom available, are also analyzed in this paper. The results provide details about the expected significant imbalances that exist, both for married and divorcing couples, between the number of couples with older husbands and the number with older wives. A model is developed that shows that divorce rates are lowest when the husband is two to ten years older than the wife or when the magnitude of their age difference is extremely large. Furthermore, the chance of divorce is much higher when the wife is older than the husband than vice versa. The demands on a younger spouse–usually the wife–to provide informal health care for an older spouse are briefly discussed.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7873718

  9. Sapphire Morningstar says:

    my friend lets call him Tom got this girl name Sarah pregnant. Now he told he knew that he would always end up with her whether she was pregnant or not because she helped out if a really dark time in his life, he was in military, girlfriend cheat on him with his best friend and some other serious stuff and he just lost all hope but she pulled him out. She had been in love with him for 3 years and he didnt noticed till later. Now she is not his ideal female, he said she was about a 5 or 6 but she is loyal however he doesnt plan on marrying her because he doesnt think two people need to be married.

    So I’m wondering, is this type of situation okay? he’s 21 and she’s 18 so they are the perfect age apart but should he marry her, I feel it may come up eventually from the female.

  10. Elspeth says:

    @ Sapphire:

    He’s going to marry her eventually. I knew a couple of men (my brother one of them), who was “never” going to get married. Who didn’t think marriage was “necessary”. They did it anyway.

    It ultimately comes down to what kind of girls he sees in her besides the stuff they shared together. Is she the kind of girl (upbringing, family, education, etc) that he feels is *too good* for lack of a better word, to be a perpetual girlfriend/single mother?

    I know how bad that sounds, but in my experience, it is how men think. If yes, he’s going to marry her sooner. If no, he may not or if he does it’ll be much later, like two or three kids down the road.

  11. Sapphire Morningstar says:

    i don’t know much about her upbringing and as far as I know she graduated high school. All I really know is what he told me which is she’s loyal, pulled him out a dark place and she is small, fragile and not much to work with physically but he said can’t see himself with anyone but her.

  12. @ Sapphire Morningstar

    Are they Christians?

    I generally speak from a Christian [moral] perspective, so if they’re not then what I’m saying really doesn’t matter that much. Non-Christians have no moral perspective to guide their actions.

    If they are Christians, I think the answer is pretty straight forward though.

  13. Novaseeker says:

    For this type of date, the parts in the middle are more interesting.

    The 50% level was attained by Age 22 from the 1980 date. It’s Age 29 in the 2015 data. That’s the massive shift.

    Yes, that’s what I found most striking about the data as well when it first came out some time ago.

    At 30, for example, in 1985 something like 13-14% were unmarried, whereas in 2015 it was 41-42%! That’s just a massive, massive difference in life for a huge swath of people. Heck, at 40 it’s still 10% unmarried in 2015, whereas in 1985, that number was tripped at age 27. Just a lot less marriage and a lot later — lots and lots more single women 40 and under than ever.

  14. @ Nova, LG

    US is trending the way of Europe in that average age of marriage between various EU countries is anywhere from 30-35ish or so.

    One of the differences between the high ages of marriage in EU is that there are a lot of cohabitors over there. BUT, since their population is fairly homogenous unlike the US, those cohabitations tend to stay together for long periods of time (e.g. sort of like common law marriage) unlike the massive amounts of break ups and single motherhood that is appearing in the US from cohabitation.

    I think the main thing we can take away from this is:

    1. Most men don’t care what age a woman is when they marry her as long as they’re getting sex and/or think they’re getting a decent deal (not necessarily a good deal).

    2. Most men don’t care if their potential wife is overweight or obese, since 33% of US is obese and 67-70% are overweight, and only 15% of women are not married.

    3. Most men now know the courts and laws are against them in marriage.

    In other words, the thirst of most men still outweigh the negative incentives and consequences of marriage. So far, at least. We can tell that a correction is happening as we speak.

    I wonder if it will hit the predicted 25-30% unmarried rate, or if it will keep rising above that.

  15. Sapphire Morningstar says:

    they both are as far as I know

  16. @DS:

    Late marriage with maybe 1 child then a divorce seems more common than we realize. Though it is probably wise to remember the historic average is something like 10% of Women and 15% of Men never actually marry, at least in the USA during the 20th Century.

    This chart would also capture a lot of the demographics shift that’s been forced on the USA, so I have a feeling splitting it out in various ways would point out where a lot of things changed.

  17. @ Sapphire Morningstar

    I’d advise them according to the principles of the Scriptures. Aside from educating about potential marriage, they also need to repent and understand why their actions prior to marriage were sinful and bear bad consequences. Also, find them good mentors in the Church to disciple them. Ideally.

    Do I expect people engaging in pre-marital sex and who probably don’t care about marriage to do that? Probably not.

    One needs to wonder why those people call themselves Christians though.

  18. thedeti says:

    off topic, but something DS has written about before:

    Lysa Terkeurst is apparently trying to reconcile with her husband:

    https://lysaterkeurst.com/2017/10/gods-unfailing-love/

    She also has been diagnosed with some sort of illness, I can’t tell because I couldn’t watch the video on her site. So maybe that has been driving it too. In any case, I would wish them both the best and that they can work through it, whatever that looks like.

  19. thedeti says:

    DS, interesting data about age differences in marriage. My opinion about older woman/younger man differences when the age differences is more than 2 years is based on most women’s reflexive reluctance to submit to and follow a man who’s younger than she is.

  20. thedeti says:

    At 30, for example, in 1985 something like 13-14% were unmarried, whereas in 2015 it was 41-42%! That’s just a massive, massive difference in life for a huge swath of people. Heck, at 40 it’s still 10% unmarried in 2015, whereas in 1985, that number was tripped at age 27. Just a lot less marriage and a lot later — lots and lots more single women 40 and under than ever.

    And we have to keep in mind this graph doesn’t describe unmarried women. It describes never-married women, which is a smaller subset of unmarried women because that latter set includes currently divorced women.

    It’s really something that in 2015, more than 40% of all women who had reached age 30 were never married. That’s a huge number.

    And at 40, it’s not 10% never-married – it’s 20%. at 45 it’s still 15%.

    Thinking back to my time as a kid, i turned age 12 in 1980. Divorce was a scandal. Nearly all the women i knew (in my little town) age 30 or over had been married at least once. Few were divorced that i know of.

    20% of women never married by age 40 is a huge number.

  21. earlthomas786 says:

    ‘20% of women never married by age 40 is a huge number.’

    Now is this because of men ‘marriage striking’…and/or the effects of women on the cad carousel.

  22. @ thedeti

    I found some other “data” that says more than a 5 year age difference increases the risk of divorce by 18% compared to 0 years. However, it didn’t separate out when women were older or men were older, so I don’t think any conclusions can be gathered from it. It’s likely that based on previous studies, men being older reduced it but women being older increased it.

    And yes… 20% never married by 40 is huge. I’m interested to see if it reaches that number by 2025 or maybe even sooner. The 25-30% by 2045 would be a bit slow, but it does seem we are seeing large shifts through the lower classes so far. Most of the people I know from college are getting married still, so it’s still a thing for the “middle class” — but as the middle class starts to shrink and maybe the student loan bubble bursts…

  23. @ deti

    Added the Lysa thing to the divorce post OP which praises her for trying to reconcile according to the Scriptures.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/another-divorce/

  24. Pingback: Remarriage analysis in context with marriage rates and spinsterhood | Christianity and masculinity

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