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New Jersey Health Statistics
1997

Marriages and Divorces
Age

The median age at which brides married in 1997 increased over the figure from the preceding year, continuing a trend that has been in effect for more than a decade (Table MD1). The median age at which grooms married also continued its gradually increasing trend. In 1997, the mid-point for brides' ages was 29.0 years and that for males who married in 1997 was 31.0 years.

The median age at first marriage is younger than the median age at marriage for both brides and grooms, but these median ages have also been increasing over the past few decades. With the exception of a temporary reversal of the trend in 1990, the median ages of brides and grooms have steadily increased over the decade. From 1996 to 1997, the median age for first-time brides increased slightly from 27.0 to 27.1 years. First-time grooms experienced an increase in median age from 28.5 to 28.8 over the year (Figure MD1 and Table MD2).

Figure FD1


TABLE MD2. MEDIAN AGE AT FIRST MARRIAGE
NEW JERSEY, 1988-1997
YEAR MEDIAN AGE
BRIDES GROOMS
1988 25.4 27.2
1989 25.7 27.4
1990 25.5 26.6
1991 26.0 27.6
1992 26.3 27.9
1993 26.4 28.0
1994 26.6 28.2
1995 26.7 28.3
1996 27.0 28.5
1997 27.1 28.8

In 1997, fewer than one-third of women marrying for the first time were under 25 years of age (31.0%). This is in sharp contrast to the 47.5 percent of first-time brides in 1988 who were less than 25 years old (Table MD3). Only 19.5 percent of first-time grooms in 1997 were under 25 years, compared to 30.8 percent in 1988. The percentages of brides and grooms marrying for the first time under the age of 25 have decreased steadily over the past decade as had the percentages of both brides and grooms who were under the age of 20 at the time of first marriage (Table MD3 and Figure MD2). However, in 1997, the trends for both brides and grooms reversed and the percentages of first marriages under the age of 20 rose to 5.1 and 1.7, respectively.


TABLE MD3. PERCENT OF BRIDES AND GROOMS UNDER 25 AND
UNDER 20 YEARS OF AGE AT THE TIME OF FIRST MARRIAGE
NEW JERSEY, 1988-1997
YEAR BRIDES GROOMS
PERCENT UNDER 25 PERCENT
UNDER 20
PERCENT
UNDER 25
PERCENT
UNDER 20
1988 47.5 7.0 30.8 2.4
1989 44.9 6.8 29.2 2.3
1990 46.3 6.9 29.7 2.5
1991 40.1 5.4 25.7 2.0
1992 37.9 4.9 23.6 1.7
1993 36.5 4.7 22.7 1.5
1994 34.4 4.5 22.0 1.5
1995 33.3 4.6 21.0 1.5
1996 31.2 4.5 19.7 1.5
1997 31.0 5.1 19.5 1.7

Figure MD2

Table MD4 is a distribution of brides' ages by grooms' ages for 1997 marriages, in detailed age categories.


TABLE MD4. MARRIAGES BY AGE OF BRIDE AND AGE OF GROOM
NEW JERSEY, 1997

AGE OF
BRIDE

TOTAL AGE OF GROOM

15-19

20-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-59

60-64

65+

UNDER 15 4 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
15-19 2,076 392 1,037 442 150 39 9 5 2 0 0 0
20-24 10,876 224 4,281 4,514 1,308 389 116 30 8 5 1 0
25-29 17,467 66 1,494 9,095 4,687 1,484 419 134 65 17 1 5
30-34 10,230 16 336 2,084 3,969 2,269 958 345 165 59 14 15
35-39 6,053 7 118 552 1,276 1,913 1,208 576 246 104 33 20
40-44 3,844 3 36 178 430 748 975 756 415 186 72 45
45-49 2,259 0 12 62 139 266 410 504 449 219 110 88
50-54 1,325 0 3 16 30 84 146 196 322 262 164 102
55-59 591 0 0 3 8 12 40 56 78 154 118 122
60-64 340 0 1 0 2 6 8 10 19 42 95 157
65+ 402 0 2 1 0 1 3 6 10 9 32 338
TOTAL 55,467 710 7,321 16,947 12,000 7,211 4,292 2,618 1,779 1,057 640 892


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