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Will Millennials Ever Get Married?

Allen B. Downey
Olin College of Engineering

Abstract

Using data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), we investigate marriage patterns among women in the United States We describe and predict age at first marriage for successive generations based on decade of birth. The fraction of women married by age 22 has dropped by 11 percentage points per decade, from 69\% for women born in the 1940s to 13\% for women born in the 90s. The fraction of women married by age 42 fell more slowly, from 93\% for women born in the 40s to 82\% for women born in the 70s. Projections suggest that this fraction will be substantially lower for later generations, between 68\% and 72\%. Along with these results, this paper presents an introduction to survival analysis methods and an implementation in Python.

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