Marriage formation is deeply embedded in societal context. This study documents trends towards lower marriage rates and delayed marriage in Europe and the US. Using time series analyses, it shows the relevance of economic and gender context in understanding marriage formation. The study extends previous work by including more countries, a longer time period, and by examining changes in predictors of marriage patterns over time. Analyses show that the association between economic context and marriage rates weakens over time, but the role of gender equality and policy context remain stable. Differences in age at first marriage across policy clusters are diminishing. Although greater gender equality is consistently linked to later marriage entry, the link between economic context and age at first marriage is changing. Changes in predictors of cross-national marriage patterns over time strongly suggest the institution of marriage itself is changing.
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