First marriages in the united states: Data from the 2006-2010 national survey of family growth

Casey E. Copen, Kimberly Daniels, Jonathan Vespa, William D. Mosher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Objectives-This report shows trends and group differences in current marital status, with a focus on first marriages among women and men aged 15-44 years in the United States. Trends and group differences in the timing and duration of first marriages are also discussed. These data are based on the 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). National estimates of probabilities of first marriage by age and probabilities of separation and divorce for women and men's first marriages are presented by a variety of demographic characteristics. Data are compared with similar measures for 1982, 1995, and 2002. Methods-The analyses presented in this report are based on a nationally representative sample of 12,279 women and 10,403 men aged 15-44 years in the household population of the United States. The overall response rate for the 2006-2010 NSFG was 77%-78% for women and 75% for men. Results-The percentage of women who were currently cohabiting (living with a man in a sexual relationship) rose from 3.0% in 1982 to 11% in 2006- 2010; it was higher in some groups, including Hispanic groups, and the less educated. In 2006-2010, women and men married for the first time at older ages than in previous years. The median age at first marriage was 25.8 for women and 28.3 for men. Premarital cohabitation contributed to the delay in first marriage for both women and men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalNational Health Statistics Reports
Issue number49
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cohabitation
  • Divorce
  • Union formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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