New research by New York University sociologists Paula England and Jonathan Bearak also shows that these educated women are more likely to stay married, although the do tend to marry later. Yeah, after they get a degree, go to grad school and work.
The difference in marriage rates used to be stunning: in 1950, a quarter of white female college graduates 40 years old had never married, compared to only 7 percent of their counterparts without a college degree.
In yet another stunning reversal, women with less than a high school education are the least likely to be currently married at all ages after 30. Poorer, less educated women now tend to have children outside marriage. And men lacking high school or college degrees are sometimes seen as less "marriageable" because stagnating wages eroded their power as breadwinners. What's more, divorce rates remain high among this group.
People are still getting married of course; in all education groups, roughly 75-90% tie the knot. Black women have lower odds of marrying than white women, but getting a college degree raises their marriage rates by their 30s and 40s. (In fact, the group of black women with no education is the only one which the majority have not married by age 45.)
Men with less schooling tend to marry at younger ages, but higher-educated men catch up later. Also they typically marry later than women, who still tend to marry partners a few years older. Black men who graduate college are more likely to marry than black men with just a few years of college.
Education and Divorce
The sad fact remains, that nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce, but divorces are least common among college graduates. What's more, the education gap in divorce has increased in recent decades. It that because college teaches us that divorce makes us lose a lot of money and pay for two houses? Not exactly, less educated people often marry younger, which predisposes them for a split. Less money and economic uncertainly also raises marital stress, hence divorce.
Although the less educated may marry earlier, higher divorce rates lower their lifelong marriage stats. More educated people marry later and tend to stay married, so they kind of catch up.
Like a house, marriage is staring to be a luxury for lucky of the the middle class--who can afford it.
photo: David Ball