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Young and old, married and unmarried are equally skeptical. Especially for those who have never wed, marriage remains a life goal.

Though they say they would like to wed, most Americans are not in a hurry to do so.

In 2011, the median age at first marriage was at a record high—about 29 for men and about 27 for women, according to census data.

About seven-in-ten (69%) people do not agree with that notion; only 28% do.

Among those who do agree, men (31%) are slightly more likely to do so than women (26%).

Being a good parent was seen as “one of the most important things” by a larger share of adults (53%).

Men and women overall do not answer differently in rating the priority of a successful marriage to them, but there are differences among young adults, ages 18 to 34. According to the public, it is easier for a married person than a single person to raise a family (77% say so).

Men and women’s attitudes about marrying for the first time are not different among young adults.

But among never-married adults ages 30 to 50, men (27%) are more likely than women (8%) to say they do not want to marry.

By D’Vera Cohn Americans believe that love is the main foundation of marriage.

Most who never have been married say they would like to be at some point in their lives. The romantic ideal of marriage plays out in survey data that show whether they are married or not, Americans are more inclined to choose “love” as a reason for marriage than any other factor.

Marriage is the process by which two people make their relationship public, official, and permanent.