Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Marriage, Education and the Happiness Correlation

Why are there so many single Americans?? This article delves deeper into that question.

If you don't have time to read the whole article, here are some major take aways:

*51 percent of all women live without a spouse. Half of all men are in the same situation.
*The career girls aren't on the losing end; rather, it is their less educated manicurists or housekeepers, women who might arguably be less able to live on their own.
*College educated women are more likely to marry than non-college educated women — although they marry, on average, two years later.
*Women with more education are less likely to divorce than those with less education. They are even less likely to be widowed all in all, less likely to end up alone.
*Commitment-averse men in their 20’s and 30’s look the same with or without a college degree. They fit depressingly well into the old stereotypes: they fear marriage means a loss of liberty; they worry a wife will want to change them. They don’t trust women to tell the truth about past relationships, or they are waiting for the soul mate who hasn’t appeared. With the rising frequency of cohabitation, they can get sex without marriage, so what’s the rush? With no biological or sociological clock ticking, “boys can remain boys indefinitely.”
*While marriage used to be something you did before launching a life or career, now it is seen as something you do after you’re financially stable.
*Women are saying, "I’m not ready, I want to work for a while, the guys I hang around with don’t make enough money and they don’t want a commitment.”
*People who are high school dropouts probably have a higher propensity to drop out of marriage.
*Three decades ago, about 30 percent of women who had graduated from college said it should be harder to get a divorce - now, about 65 percent say so. For less educated women and for men, the numbers have not changed; only 40 percent say it should be harder to get a divorce.
*The percentage of spouses who rate their marriage as “very happy” has dropped among those without a college education, while it has risen or held steady among those better educated.


xanthuos said...

"THE news that 51 percent of all women live without a spouse might be enough to make you invest in cat futures."

How fitting, eh Sarah? =D And how is Mr. Darcy? hahahah...good article. Also, I'm happy to hear that you won't blow me off again.

As far as traveling goes...if my travels mainly consisted of extended backpacking trips in locales around the world - 3 months in Europe, 2 months in South America, etc - then I think I'd probably be continuing to do so for years on end! I've just grown weary of bouncing around the US for purposes of chasing the dollar. Plus...the cubicle life is the same, chasing the dollar - it's the free time in which you can craft your lifestyle as you see fit that I crave :D At least for now! I may take off traveling again eventually, who knows.

For now, I need to find me one of those 51% of single women anyway, and get me a date or two! :P

EDub said...

From the WSJ's Best of the Web

The famous New York Times article celebrating spinsterhood, which we discussed last Tuesday and again Friday, has yet another problem, to which several readers called our attention. It turns out that the statistic the Times trumpets is not that 51% of "women"* are unmarried, but that 51% are "living without a spouse." Here is what that means:

In a relatively small number of cases, the living arrangement is temporary, because the husbands are working out of town, are in the military or are institutionalized.

True, the number of military wives living stateside while their husbands are deployed overseas is small relative to America's total female population. But it is symbolic of how bogus the Times story is. A military wife may be a statistical outlier, but the divorcée who told the Times, "A gentleman asked me to marry him and I said no. I told him, 'I'm just beginning to fly again, I'm just beginning to be me. Don't take that away,' " is hardly a typical American either.

* A category that includes 16- and 17-year-old girls.

Sarah Ashlee said...

To the opposite point, if half of all men are living sans spouse, are their wives serving overseas in the military,instutionalized or working out of town as well??

I hardly think this article was celebrating "spinsterhood" as much as it was discussing the fact that women and men aren't rushing into marriage like they have done in the past.

If you read the article you would know that the article also talked about the correlation between educational attainment and the delay of and happiness in marriage...for both men and women. Not to mention the change of values that seem to be evident in regards to divorce as educational attainment increases.

The percentage of women living without a spouse was a very small portion of the article.

Though...to your point...I can't believe they would have included 16 and 17 year olds. However, if the small percentage that includes military and instutionalized spouses can be included - then I think religious minorites should be considered and included as well. Some tend to get married very early, with parental consent...and therefore 16 and 17 year olds should/could be included.

EDub said...


Sarah Ashlee said...