A record low number of Americans are married today, and the people who do choose to tie the knot are older than they ever have been in history, according to new research that should make you feel a lot better about being alone over the holidays.
Just 51 percent of Americans are currently married, and in New York, less than 40 percent of people are married. The median age for first marriage is at an all-time high—26.5 years old for women and 28.7 for men, which may not seem that old for career-obsessed, promiscuity-tolerant New Yorkers, but is practically geriatric for marrying age in many parts of the country. Hunter College sociology professor Philip Kasinitz told amNY he wasn't surprised that fewer New Yorkers are settling down, since "a lot of people live here early in their careers," and pointed out that "The places where marriage is still more common and still happens younger, by and large, are also the places with reasonably high divorce rates." Take that, Tuscaloosa!
There's been plenty of ink spilled over marriage's supposed drift into obsolescence in recent months—everything from personal accounts of "Why We're Not Getting Married" to a TIME cover story on "Who Needs Marriage?". And indeed, one of the perks of living in this city, despite its crazy rents and crazier people, is the relative lack of pressure to settle down. So go forth, unmarried New Yorkers, date around, live in sin, and feel free to bust out the aforementioned science the next time Aunt Dorthea drills into you for not putting a ring on it.