Based purely on passive observation of people I follow/read/am vaguely connected to online but have never met in person, women currently in their 20s living in NYC are much more likely to be married than women in their 20s in NYC a decade ago. Seems like everyone is doing it. When I was say, 27, it would’ve been highly unusual to meet another female my age here who was married or engaged. The vast majority of my friends in their late 30s and into their 40s are still unmarried (though not necessarily single). Are women in a city traditionally known for being more freewheeling than the rest of the US really getting married younger or just nesty, food bloggy types, a group which I’ve never felt a strong kinship with in the real world?
According to US Census data, in 2008 (the most recent available) the median age of female first marriage in New York state was 28, nearly the oldest in the country. Unfortunately, they don’t break it down by county or city level. This particular Census data is a pain to access pre-2004—I don’t have the time right now—but I’m quite certain the 1998 number would be lower not higher. I’m still convinced that on a hard-to-quantify-scientifically level, swaths of women in NYC are getting married younger, though.
I recently was also gripped by the realization that a lot of these 27 year-old women, the types who live in Bushwick, South Slope, Harlem, and so on, won’t be living here when they are 37. I have no idea what they’ll be doing career-wise, something amazing and creative, I’m sure, but they will be married with children, no longer “hungry” (I really, really hate that adjective in the same way I loathe “robust” for well-rounded) and they won’t be living in NYC. I do think a different breed of 27 year old, she who lives in Manhattan and would never even pretend to be bohemian (also a gross word) has a higher likelihood of being here in ten years, though in maybe in Westchester.
This is not a backwards-complimenting observation meant to imply that I’m special because I’m still here (12 years in two weeks). If anything I’m wondering what keeps me here because I’m very much not passionate about living in New York like so many are. I don’t think it’s the greatest place on earth or even the United States. I often hate living here, but am bored by everywhere else in the country I visit even more (I always can have fun like I did in Puerto Rico this weekend but I get dismayed by things like lack of diverse cuisine, slow people you have to be polite to and everything closing by 10pm). I would move in a second, if an opportunity arose or if the person I was living with wasn’t so tied to the city. I just don’t have any place else to be right now.