While it’s often thought that those who wait to get married make more money, it is actually only true for women, as men are more successful when they marry younger according to a study.
The University of Virginia published the report, which found that college-educated women who got married in their 30s were likely to earn an average of 56 percent more than those who got married in their 20s.
But men who were married in their 20s had higher income than those who waited until their 30s for marriage, even if they weren’t college-educated.
The study was conducted by the National Marriage Project and titled Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America. It examines the trend of marrying later in life.
The average age for marriage is at an all-time high now, as women are at 27 and men are at 29. In 1990, women were on average 23 years old when they got married, while men were 26.
Though women benefited from waiting to get married, it seems men did not, and the reasons are a bit unclear.
Researchers believe that childbirth plays a major role in the statistics, especially for women.
About two-thirds of lifetime income growth occurs in the first ten years of a career, according to Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist.
And because college-educated women who marry in their 20s usually have their first baby earlier, they are forced to take a break from their careers during that very important decade, which ultimately puts a delay on their income.
But men experience the opposite when they marry in their 20s, and this is likely due to them being “more sure of themselves compared to single men,” meaning they are more productive.
The study also found that not all women who get married later make more money, as those who did not receive a college education showed no financial benefits of delaying marriage.
A reason for this is because among women who were not college educated, the average age for first birth does not rise in correlation with age of marriage, meaning many women in this group have their first baby out of wedlock.
The statistic is even higher for women who dropped out of high school, as 83 percent of first births in that group are to unmarried mothers.
Overall, waiting to marry does benefit everyone, as it has led to a decrease in the divorce rate. Couples who marry in their early 20s are more likely to separate than those who marry later on.
Statistics also show that men who never marry earn significantly less than those who do, but the opposite is true for women.