If there is an ideal age to marry, this is it. People who marry between 23 and 27 years old have the best odds for a long and happy union, according to a new survey by the University of Texas for the National Fatherhood Initiative.
So if you're older than 27, should you panic and just forget about a long and happy marriage? No! "Those marriages turned out better but maybe not because of the age," the survey designer Norval Glenn, who is also a University of Texas sociology professor, told USA Today. "Some people may be just too picky or too choosy or not extremely desirable." Interestingly, American culture is gradually moving away from young marriage, with first weddings inching up to 26 for women and 27 for men.
Of course, ask anyone--expert or not--the ideal age for saying "I do," and you're bound to get differing answers. Harris Poll asked teenagers and tweens--those at that in-between age of 8 to 12--the perfect age to walk down the aisle, and they said between 25 and 29 years old. Almost half believe that marriage is "extremely important" or "very important" and only 19 percent think marriage is "not important" at all. In addition, half of young people believe in love at first sight.
Some think the optimum age for marriage can be revealed through mathematics. And what is that age? According to a researcher in Great Britain, the answer is right here: M=Y+(1/e[X-Y]). That computes to 32 years old for men and 27 years old for women, reports London's Evening Standard. This unusual bit of math wizardry is the handiwork of statistician Dennis Lindley, a professor at London's University College. He is confident his formula is so accurate that he says it will save marriages and reduce the divorce rate. If men and women know the optimum age at which to stop playing the field and start settling down, then they won't marry too soon or wait too long and be doomed to a loveless life.
This is his mathematical logic, according to the Evening Standard: To find an optimum marriageable age, subtract the earliest age at which you start looking for a partner (the professor assumes 16) from the latest age you would expect to marry (he says 60 for men, 46 for women), multiply it by a logarithmic formula (which works out at 0.36), and then add it again to your starting age.
44 x 0.36=15.84
33 x 0.36=10.8
The math/love/geek tie-in was too hard to resist.