Sunday, November 21, 2010

Marriage Is for Smart People

The talk of the pro-marriage world lately has been the Time/Pew survey of marriage. It found that marriage rates have been declining in all classes, and have fallen below half for the least educated. This has led to stories about marriage being obsolete.

I read the numbers the opposite way. Smart people get married, if they can. Smart is not the same as educated, but there is some relation.

Marriage benefits couples who stay together and work together. This is true in all classes, all education levels, all everything.

I think college graduates are more likely to marry because they are more likely to know the wisdom, as well as the research findings, that marriage is not the capstone of social success, but, for most people, the foundation of it.


Brendan said...

It seems like there's a data lag problem here. Educated people in particular are marrying later than they did a generation ago; that means that while age 18 remains the fixed starting point, of course a smaller percentage would be found to be married until the previous generation left the population surveyed--even if the actual percentage of people who eventually chose to marry stayed the same.

Gruntled said...

Agreed. The gap between the marriage rate of the young educated/un, though, is already visible, not just in comparison with past generations. And I don't think the average age of first marriage can get much older, as the women are already bumping against the fertility wall.