One man's infatuation with The New York Times' wedding section has unveiled some surprising new insights into the world of modern dating and romance. Todd Schneider, contributing writer at Vox and creator of Wedding Crunchers, analyzed over 63,000 NYT wedding announcements published between 1981 and 2013 using his unique search engine tool.
After revisiting the data this week, Schneider has some interesting new findings to report:
1. Thirty is the new 20.
The average age of couples featured in the wedding announcements is increasing, corroborating the many studies reporting that millennials are marrying later, with some writing it off altogether. According to Schneider's analysis, the average age of marriage for men and women in 2016 is 32 and 30, respectively. In fact, the term "35" surpassed the term "25" in the number of mentions around the year 2002, and has remained a wedding announcement staple since.
2. Getting married? Thank OkCupid.
Technology plays a more pivotal role in the courting process, with roughly 12 percent of couples meeting online. The most popular dating site was OkCupid at almost 40 percent, followed by Match.com and JDate.
3. Schools are still a breeding ground for romance.
The majority of couples still meet at school, especially for the 20- to 29-year-old age demographic. Surprisingly, older couples aged 30 and up are far more likely to meet their partner online than younger couples.
4. "Debutante culture" is fading fast.
The NYT wedding announcements of today focus far less on "debutante culture" and feature more couples from diverse religious backgrounds. Whether or not this trend was partially manufactured by the Times editors or is indicative of the millennial generations' inherent diversity—or a combination of the two—is up for debate.
5. Friends are officiating more marriages.
The number of reverends and rabbis officiating marriages has taken a sharp dive since 1995. Conversely, the terms "Universal Life Minister" and "American Marriage Ministries" have been all the more omnipresent since the year 2000.
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