(Relaxnews)—The marriage rate in the US is currently 31.01, the lowest it's been in over a century, according to the National Center for Family and Marriage Center (NCFMR) at Bowling Green State University. That equals roughly 31 marriages per 1,000 married women. Compare that to 1920, when the marriage rate was a staggering 92.3. Since 1970, the marriage rate has declined by almost 60 percent. "Marriage is no longer compulsory," said Dr. Susan Brown, co-director of the NCFMR. "It's just one of an array of options. Increasingly, many couples choose to cohabit and still others prefer to remain single." Furthermore, a woman's average age at first marriage is the highest it's been in over a century, at nearly 27 years old. "The age at first marriage for women and men is at a historic highpoint and has been increasing at a steady pace," states Dr. Wendy Manning, co-director of the center. Most US men wait till 28.9 years of age to tie the knot.
For comparison, data shows that French women get married on average at 29.6 years, while men are 31.6. Brazilian women get married, on average, at age 26, with men age 28, while in Britain, it's ages 28.5 for women and 30.7 for men.