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Regional divide in women’s mean age at first marriage

Marriages are the earliest in countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia where the bride’s average age at first marriage ranges between 22 and 25 years. At the same time, women in most countries of Central Europe and the Baltics marry after the age of 26.

In Northern, Western and Southern Europe women usually marry around the age of 30. Sweden has the highest mean age at first marriage (32.9), followed by other Nordic countries and Spain.

In all UNECE countries, the age at first marriage has been rising over the past ten years. The factors behind this trend include the general postponement of family formation as well as increase in the incidence and duration of cohabitation as in many countries couples frequently live together for a long time before getting married.

Source: UNECE Statistical Database

Mean age of women at first marriage, selected countries, 2000 and 2010

© United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe – 2013