The average age at which guys in the U.S. tie the knot starts at 25.6 in Utah and tops out at 30.6 in Washington D.C., which could easily be dismissed as a rural versus urban dichotomy until you poke a little more at the numbers and discover a more significant factor: the states’ male-to-female ratio.
Broadly speaking, the more competitive a heterosexual male finds his local dating pool, the earlier he’s apt to take a knee. Utah’s ratio is nearly even, and states with similar ratios — or states with fewer women than men — generally see grooms suiting up closer to their mid-20s: Idaho, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming are all places a where guy can expect to pop the question quickly. But the more women there are in the dating pool, the more the age of wedlock seems to go up. D.C. is an outlier, with just 89.5 guys for every 100 women, but New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey all have at least 2 percent more females than males and an average marriage age of around 30. There are, of course, exceptions to that rule. The Great American Sausage Fest of Alaska, where there are a whopping 108.5 dudes to every 100 women, is closer to the middle of the spectrum with an average marriage age of 27.4. And Nevada, which has 102 guys for every 100 women, it’s even higher, at 28 years old. In the case of the former, you could argue that guys need those extra years just to find someone to marry at all; as for the latter, maybe it’s tough to settle down when you can drink all night long for the cost of a jar of pocket change.Finally, the entire country is as eager as a virgin on his wedding night compared to Europe, where guys in 21 countries don’t get married until after age 30. The oldest grooms in Europe are in Sweden, at 35.1, but Denmark and Iceland aren’t far behind at 34.8 and 34.3, respectively. For the record, those last 2 happen to rank second and third in the international happiness index. The U.S. is currently fifteenth. Coincidence?
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