Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Good News on the Marriage Gap

The main overall finding of The State of Our Unions 2009 is, I think, this:

In large numbers, therefore, the college-educated part of America is living the American dream—with happy, stable, two-parent families.
The marriage rate for college-educated people is rising, against the trend for the rest of the population. Couples in the college class are better matched than before. They are happier than other marrieds, and much happier than cohabitors.

The one long-term weakness of college marrieds is that they don't have enough kids to replace themselves. Even here, though, college-educated women seem to be the quickest to pick up the message of the birth dearth. Young college women want more children (and I can vouch for this in my own classes) and are starting to have more kids, too.

I think the college-educated class leads the nation in most social trends. I do not think that we are heading toward a marriage-based caste division. Rather, the college class is turning around some long-term bad trends in family life. The rest of the nation will eventually start to follow.

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