I froth at the mere sight of marriage data. Anything that puts hard numbers to the shifting landscape of matrimony, family, and women makes me almost about as giddy as Sylvia Plath‘s own self portrait. And to properly top off my Friday, The Atlantic has published a new glimpse at where we’re all at. Once again, your education level has just about everything to do with your choices.
Keeping with much of what has already been observed about contemporary marriage in the United States, getting married still remains heavily steeped in your socioeconomic status. Modern marriage is supremely about class, perhaps more so than anything else.
The Atlantic observes that the average age of sauntering down the aisle has been bumped up once again to 27 for women and 29 for women (as of 2012, it was around 26 for ladies and 27-ish for men). But among the many gems this data reveals, one noted finding was that ladies who hold a college degree are less likely to have a baby out of wedlock:
College-educated women are unlikely to have a child before getting married. For college-educated women, the average age of first birth (30) has risen along with the average age of marriage (27). Only 12 percent of births by college graduates are to unmarried women.
Conversely, women who are not college-educated are reportedly very, very likely to have a child out of wedlock:
Less-educated women have a much different experience with marriage and childbirth. For women without a college degree, the average age of first birth hasÂ notÂ risen apace with the average age of marriage. The average age of first birth for this group is lower than the average marriage age. For women who dropped out of high school, the average age of first birth is 20, while the average marriage age is 25; 83 percent of first births in this demographic are to unmarried mothers. For women who graduated from high school and went to some college, the average age for first birth is 24 and the average marriage age is 27; 58 percent of first births are to unwed mothers.
Other fun facts include that a couple that is not legally wed at the time of their first child’s birth are “far more likely” to throw in the towel. The Alantic reports a 13 percent chance that mommy and daddy will break up within the first five years of baby’s life. But even if you’re doing the living together thing, your odds of splitting during that five year bracket bump up to 39 percent.