By the time I got into a serious dating relationship with my now-husband, I was 31. I'd just turned 33 when we got married, and I didn't feel ready to have a baby until 36. (My twins were born a week to the day after I turned 37.)
For me, this timeline was just right: I wouldn't have traded the five years I spent as a couple—just my hubby and me bonding, growing, and traveling together—for anything else in the world. And in California, where I live, this timeline seems fairly standard among my friends—in fact I'm one of the first among my besties to have kids.
But is that true for most couples? And what about couples in other states? Using info from the U.S. Census Bureau and the CDC, the website Vocativ has compiled some interesting data and infographics to show clearly exactly what is standard, state by state, for milestones like when people get married, how much time they spend as just-a-couple, and when they welcome their first baby.
Related: Is Your Lifestyle Baby-Friendly?
Turns out that, on average, couples wait three years between saying "I do" and welcoming their firstborn. But interestingly, couples in Utah, who get married younger than people do anywhere else in the U.S., wait close to five years after getting married to have a baby—the longest in any state. Folks in Idaho, Washington, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Virginia also wait longer than couples in other states in the country.
Couples in Louisiana, New York, Mississippi, South Carolina, and New Mexico, conversely, have the shortest wait between marriage and children.
Here in my home state of California, the average age for marriage is nearly 28 (that's pretty old compared to the rest of the country), and women have their first kid at age 30.5 (also old in comparison). On average, couples here wait about three years after marriage before having a baby.
I find these stats super interesting, as firm data to compare against my personal experiences within my own friend group, comprised of women living in coastal cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York—where people are known to wait longer before settling down.
How do these stats compare to your own experiences?
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