The Impact a College Degree Has on Your Marriage

Photo by Kamil Macniak / Shutterstock.com

A college education can boost more than your lifetime earnings: It might also boost your odds of getting married, according to the nonprofit Brookings Institution.

In a recent article dissecting America’s so-called “marriage gap,” the think tank reports that not only are marriage rates higher among college-educated women than among less-educated women, they are higher among women with advanced degrees when compared with women who have only bachelor’s degrees.

These statistics reflect a trend that has emerged in recent decades and reached a turning point in 2008 — the first time that marriage rates among college-educated 30-year-olds surpassed marriage rates among 30-year-olds without a degree.

As a result of this trend, the dynamics of marriage are changing, making the institution more egalitarian.

Women with more education have more financial independence, which affords them the option to forgo marriage. But instead, they’re using their financial independence to renegotiate the terms of marriage. As the Brookings researchers put it:

In the past, highly-educated women faced an unenviable choice between accepting a patriarchal marriage or forgoing marriage and children entirely. Now they are able to raise their children within a stable marriage without compromising their independence. It looks then as though women’s independence hasn’t led to a rejection of the matrimonial institution, as much as its transformation.

The researchers go so far as to suggest that “the ‘new’ American marriage, and its promise that both partners will contribute equally to the many demands of raising a family, might in fact be an institution that furthers rather than inhibits the feminist agenda.”

The changing role of American fathers, as recently detailed by the nonprofit Pew Research Center, seems to support this.

Comparing this decade to several decades ago, Pew found that “there is clearly a more equal distribution of labor between mothers and fathers these days.” That includes fathers nearly tripling the time they spend on child care and more than doubling the time they spend on housework.

Additionally, fewer fathers are sole breadwinners — 28 percent as of 2015, down from 47 percent in 1970.

What’s your take on the changing dynamics of marriage? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation
These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

What’s the Difference Between FICO and VantageScore Credit Scores?
What’s the Difference Between FICO and VantageScore Credit Scores?

There are lots of credit scores out there, but if you’re keeping an eye on your credit, here’s the one to watch.

11 Foods That Can Keep for Years
11 Foods That Can Keep for Years

These are some of the longest-lasting groceries you can buy.

Why Half of Retirees Now Owe Taxes on Social Security
Why Half of Retirees Now Owe Taxes on Social Security

Growing numbers of seniors are paying taxes on their Social Security benefits, but you might be able to avoid this fate.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.