The place where you grow up affects not only your income, but also your odds of getting married. New research shows that childhoods spent in liberal bastions make people about 10 percentage points less likely to marry, while conservative places encourage marriage.
The best place for marriage is Utah, which makes people 20 percentage points more likely to wed by age 26, a study finds.
1. Age is not a determinant of marriage
The prevailing stereotype has it that the youth of today are indifferent to marriage, and are getting married later than ever before. This trend has been attributed to the growing number of singles, economic challenges and a general lack of interest in one of society’s oldest institutions.
However, a deeper analysis of the data suggests that age alone is not the sole determinant of marriage. Other factors such as education level, attitude, family income and media exposure also influence the likelihood of marrying at a younger age.
To examine the determinants of early marriage, this study uses a multilevel multivariable logistic regression model with women nested within clusters in the 2016 EDHS. The model demonstrates that education is protective and rural residence is a risk factor for child marriage. The results suggest that policies targeting education and financial inclusion are crucial to the reduction of early marriage. However, further studies are required to identify the causal links between these structural determinants and later marriage outcomes.
2. Age is a determinant of divorce
A large share of older adults have a rich marital history that includes long commitment, loss via divorce or widowhood and new partnerships as they age. Indeed, nearly 9 in 10 men and women ages 60 to 69 years have been married at least once.
However, a distinctive pattern has emerged for divorce attitudes, with older adults becoming increasingly supportive of divorce. As the cultural meanings of marriage have evolved to favor individualized marriages that prioritize personal happiness over children, older adults may be more likely to see divorce as a viable solution.
The same pattern holds true when we consider determinants of divorce by age and region, although class differences play a larger role in this context. For example, Tate County, Mississippi is one of the best places to make marriage more likely if you’re wealthy; it’s one of the worst places for lower-income families.
3. Age is a determinant of economic stability
The fact is that the economic stability a couple enjoys is closely linked to their age when they get married. The older a person is, the more likely they are to have stable employment and incomes, as well as own their own homes. Those factors make the likelihood of divorce much lower than it is for young couples who are just starting out.
Similarly, people who have cohabited with their partners before marrying have less of a chance of splitting up within five years than do those who don’t. And while a lack of education disproportionately raises divorce rates, researchers have found that the difference is moderated by age: couples who are older when they get married have lower divorce rates than younger couples.
But these trends don’t hold true everywhere. In countries that are richer, it’s harder to find a correlation between marriage and divorce. And it also seems that rural and small towns tend to make marriage more likely, even when an area’s political leaning is taken into account.
4. Age is a determinant of mental health
Researchers believe that people who get married at a young age often experience more problems in their marriages than others. This is because they are still trying to figure out what makes a good relationship and how they should act in one. They also may have unrealistic expectations for their marriages.
The place where you grow up also affects your marriage chances, but differently. Growing up in blue America – that is, liberal bastions like New York City, San Francisco and Boston — makes you about 10 percent less likely to marry by age 26 than if you had grown up somewhere else in the country. On the other hand, the conservative Mountain West encourages marriage more than anywhere else.
However, most cohabiting adults say they would like to be married someday. Many of them cite their partners’ or their own lack of financial readiness as a major reason why they aren’t ready to marry.