Age to Get Married

What is the Ideal Age to Get Married?

What age to Marry – Schoolchild Survey Graph from Education Quizzes

Our survey this week shows that around two thirds of children expect to get married in their twenties. Eight percent expect to marry before they are 20 and 16% intend to never marry.

The governments of most countries monitor marriage statistics and publish reliable information - you'll find detailed information on the Wikipedia page at List of countries by age at first marriage. In the next few paragraphs we'll summarize some of the Wiki information that you might find interesting – you might even like to compare the statistics with your own views on the subject.

International Marriage Statistics

If you are a girl living in the African country of Niger you expect to marry before you are 16! In three other African countries (Chad, Guinea and Mali) you would expect to marry before you are 17. Similarly, girls living in Bangladesh are normally married before they are 17. At the other end of the scale, girls living in Ireland and Sweden typically don't marry until they are over 34 years old. In the UK, the average age for women to marry is just over 31.

An arial picture of Nauru

In every country of the world it is the norm for men to be older than women when they marry. Every country that is, except one – Nauru, where women are typically a couple of years older than men when they marry. Never heard of Nauru? It is one of the smallest countries in the world with a population of only 11,000. This tiny Pacific island lies between Australia and Hawaii and it wasn't until 1798 that it was first seen by any Europeans, and even then it was only discovered by accident. But, we digress, we are supposed to be talking about marriage!

Generally, and throughout the world, men are about 3 years older than women when they marry. In the UK, the average age for men to marry is somewhere between 1 and 2 years older than their partner whereas in Senegal (Africa) the age gap is nearer to 9 years.

UK Wedding Trends

The Office for National Statistics keep tabs on the number of weddings each year. The peak came in 1940 (near the start of World War II) when there were a total of 471,000 weddings. Another good year for marriages was 1972 when 426,000 marriages were registered. Since the early 1970s the amount of people choosing to get married in the UK has gradually decreased to the point where in 2016 only 243,000 chose this route to show their devotion to each other.

Scary Facts About Marriage

The Statista website tells us the following:

  • The average cost of a wedding in 2018 was £32,273
  • The average cost of an engagement ring in London in 2017 was £3,133
  • The percentage of couples who went over their wedding budget was 39%

See Results from more than 30 surveys

Full Results of our "Age to Marry" Survey

Here are the results from 1,928 children who answered our question "At what age do you expect to get married?". The survey was conducted in the week ending April 12th, 2020.

Answer Percentage of Respondents
Before I'm 20 8
20 - 25 33
25 - 30 33
30 - 35 7
Over 35 3
Never 16

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