The easiest course of action is to blame technology. The 1980s heralded the birth of the supercomputing revolution, which seems to coincide with the rise in the marriage age. But what does marriage have to do with MS-DOS? It would appear very little, to the untrained eye. But thanks to the magic of the “six degrees of separation” game, it becomes easier to see how two seemingly unrelated events affect each other. The supercomputing revolution brings with it an information-based job market. This in turn sparks the need for a highly educated workforce. To become educated, men and women are forced to spend more time at college. Since they would have a ton of work to do, it’s unlikely they’ll get married before graduation. Thusly, the computer age increased the marriage age by adding college time to the calculus.
Another, possibly more plausible, cause of the rise of the marriage age is inflation. Well, not inflation, per se, but certainly the economy in general. It is common knowledge that during times of economic uncertainty, the marriage and birth rates plummet. It happened during the great depression, as any historian can explain. The late 1980s was an economic minefield, with a looming recession. In their infinite wisdom, the governors of the Federal Reserve raised interest rates through the roof, causing a load of inflation. Suddenly, homes became a lot more expensive. This sort of development would discourage people from marrying, or delaying marriage until the couple has accumulated enough money to own a home. As a result, people would marry later, adding a few years to the average marriage age. It was a fiendishly clever plot by Alan Greenspan to destroy the American family.
So far, we’ve gone through the technological and economical reasons for the marriage age’s rapid ascent. But now we must focus on the medical. Over the last hundred years or so, the average life expectancy has increased by, like, a million percent. At the turn of the last century, being 50 years old was considered “ancient.” Today, 50 is the age most people experience their midlife crisis, or as it was known a hundred years ago, “senility.” This prolongation of years people expect to live should naturally result in extensions to all life stages. Most notably, the teenage stage has been prolonged by about five to ten years. This “slow growing up” process would push back marriage by an equal amount of time. Ergo, the rise in the marriage age can be attributed to teenage immaturity.
The marriage age has risen over the years, but when all the factors are taken into consideration, well, it doesn’t seem all that bad. As time goes on and life expectancy soars like an eagle, the marriage age will undoubtedly skyrocket until it hits the forties and peters out. By that point in time, marriage will be obsolete; for by then, the Earth will be ruled by robots.