Education Opinion

This Has ‘Marriageable Mate’ Written All Over It

By Richard Whitmire — December 06, 2010 1 min read
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New report from the National Marriage Project lays out who’s getting married, who’s not -- and who’s having babies out of marriage. It’s all about education levels, and the gender gaps in education are well documented.

From the report:

New data indicate that trends in non-marital childbearing, divorce and marital quality in Middle America increasingly resemble those of the poor, many of whose marriages are fragile. However, among the highly educated and affluent, marriage is stable and appears to be getting even stronger - yet more evidence of America's "marriage gap." The report is the first to address the causes of the observed retreat from marriage in Middle America. It finds that shifts in marriage attitudes, increases in unemployment and declines in religious attendance are among the trends driving the retreat. In a striking reversal of historic trends, highly educated Americans are embracing a pro-marriage mindset even as Middle Americans are losing faith in marriage. The report finds: Moderately educated Americans have become dramatically more likely than highly educated Americans (the 30 percent of adults with a four-year college degree) to have children outside of marriage. In the early '80s, 13 percent of babies of moderately educated mothers and 33 percent of babies of least-educated mothers were born outside of marriage, while 2 percent were born to highly educated mothers. By the late 2000s, the out-of-wedlock birth rate for moderately educated mothers had soared to 44 percent. It rose to 54 percent for the least educated mothers and went up slightly to 6 percent for highly educated mothers.

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