It’s long been thought that the earlier in life a person gets married, the greater the chance they’ll get divorced. And while new data analysis from the University of Utah seems to confirm that, it also suggests that waiting too long increases the likelihood of a failed marriage.

“Those who tie the knot after their early thirties are now more likely to divorce than those who marry in their late twenties,” sociologist Nicholas H. Wolfinger told The Washington Post. “Perhaps people who marry later face a pool of potential spouses that has been winnowed down to exclude the individuals most predisposed to succeed at matrimony.”

In other words, if you wait too long, you might run out of decent options.

Using Wolfinger’s analysis of data from the National Survey of Family Growth, The Washington Post’s WonkBlog put together this chart.

Via the Washington Post.

Via the Washington Post.

As you can see, the marriage sweet spot seems to be a person’s late 20s. That’s not exactly surprising. But what is bizarre is the fact that someone getting married in their mid 40s has about the same likelihood of divorce as someone who gets married as a preteen. Hopefully that’s not because a lot of preteens are marrying people in their mid 40s.

(Source: The Washington Post)