In 2012, one in five Americans age 25 and older had never been married, compared with one in 10 in 1960, said Wendy Wang, senior researcher at Pew. And she said the trend is likely to continue.
The median age of a first marriage among men and women has drastically changed in the last five decades, she added. Women now tend to be 27 years old, compared to 20, and men are 29, compared to 23.
“I want to have a lot more figured out for myself before I commit to a life with someone else,” said sophomore Julie Canziani.
Wang said some couples are choosing an alternative to marriage — almost a quarter of young adults ages 25-34 are living with a partner without any type of legal contract. Some are raising children this way.
Canziani said she thinks marriage is not something young people should rush into, and she does not want to end up unhappily married later in life but have legal obligations to stay with the person.
“I think you can live happily with someone without being married to them,” she said.
Wang said most young people do want to get married — only 8 percent are resistant to the concept — but men and women have distinct priorities in finding a partner.
She said 78 percent of unmarried women emphasized the importance of finding someone with a steady job, compared to 46 percent of men.