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Wedding Bells Demographics

Kate Zernicke had an interesting article in last weekend’s NY Times week in review on the demographics of contemporary American marriage, updating some of our stereotypes for the brave new world in which most people are unmarried.

The well-known fact is that college educated people marry later than do the less-schooled. The big counterintuitive fact is that college educated women are substantially more likely to get married than are less-educated women. Among young men you don’t see a schooling gap, but it emerges as men get older and takes the same shape. Educated people marry other educated people which, among other things, contributes to inequality. It would be interesting to see more about race here. Zernicke writes, “black women are significantly less likely to marry than white women, but among blacks, women with a college education are more likely to marry than those who do not.” But how much of the lower marriage rate among less educated women is due the fact that there’s a disproportionately large number of African-American women in that pool.

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