Study: The Best Age to Get Married and Have Babies

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Study: The Best Age to Get Married and Have Babies
Wed 16-04-2014

According to the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau numbers, the median age at first marriage is about 27 years old for women and 29 for men. While that definitely doesn't mean you need to aim for that number, research suggests that it's not a bad time to start looking for Mr. Right.

Data from the Pew Research Center suggests that people who get hitched before they turn 23 are more likely to get divorced. Meanwhile, a 2008 Journal of Political Economy study found that for every year you put off marriage, you face a lower risk of eventually getting divorced. There's no doubt your level of maturity could be a factor here, but education plays a role, too. Putting off marriage until after you've received a college degree makes you less likely to divorce than less-educated couples, according to a 2013 Family Relations study. So it seems that marrying later in life—at least after college—may be beneficial. 

The "Best" Time To Have Kids:

It makes sense that many newlyweds wait at least a year or so to think about having kids. After all, most people want to settle into married life before bringing in another family member. But interestingly, couples who conceive and have children before their first anniversaries are more likely to remain married after 15 years than newlyweds who take more time to start a family, according to a 2012 National Center for Health Statistics report. 

In fact, research shows that rushing to have a baby isn't the best option for your relationship or your future. That same data set found that couples who got pregnant before marriage were less likely to stay together in the long run. Moreover, a growing body of research shows that having a child in your teens can lead to a host of obstacles in your future.  S

Of course, the elephant in the room is your ticking biological clock. Experts say it's smart to start trying for children by the time you turn 35. That's because—ready or not—your eggs get more fragile as you age, and you won't know whether you'll have trouble getting pregnant until you try. The good news? A recent Human Reproduction study found that 65 percent of women who started trying to get pregnant at age 40 were successful. So don't assume that you have to have a baby before the big 4-0.

Source: Women's Health Magazine