Trends

Educated White Women Erase 'Marriage Gap'

A new report says that white women with college degrees are just as likely to marry as those who didn’t graduate from college. For both groups, 84 percent had married at some point before they were 40, according to the analysis of 2008 data from the Pew Research Center. “It's a historic reversal,” said the author of the Pew study. “There was a time in the early 20th century when there was a huge marriage gap.” Indeed, the prevailing wisdom was that going to college would also delay the age of marriage for women, but now all women, regardless of education, are getting married around the age of 28. Researchers suggest that the shift has been driven by the desire for economic stability pre-marriage, and, of course, the recession. Couples are “increasingly cohabiting and won't marry until they feel economically secure, which may take many years in today's labor market,” said one sociologist Andrew Cherlin. The gap is also being bridged for African-American women as well.