Want A Ring On It? Try A Diploma First


Want to get married? Then go to college. According to a Pew Research Center study released last month, those with degrees are more likely to marry by age 30 than those without.

This study reverses the long-held pattern in which those without degrees married earlier.

The study notes:

Throughout the 20th century, college-educated adults in the United States had been less likely than their less-educated counterparts to be married by age 30. In 1990, for example, 75% of all 30-year-olds who did not have a college degree were married or had been married, compared with just 69% of those with a college degree.

But in 2008, the college-educated surpassed those without a degree for the first time — 62 percent of people who attended college were married by 30, compared with 60 percent of those who didn’t.

One interesting finding in the study is that college educated women are just as likely to marry as those without degrees, which wasn’t the case in the 1990s. Sociologist (and Catholic) Christine Whelan predicted the shift in her 2006 book “Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women.” She found that more than 90 percent of men ages 25 to 40 want to marry — or already have married — women who are as or more intelligent than themselves. This defies the conventional wisdom that the more education a woman had, the less attractive she was to men, she wrote in October’s Psychology Today.

That’s good news for us girls, although I have to admit I’ve never once thought that pursuing a master’s degree could decrease my chance at matrimony. Yet it’s affirming — both marriage and education are social goods and beloved institutions of the church. It’s good to see our culture valuing the two together.



  1. Valerie-819952 September 22, 2012 Reply

    I really enjoyed all the comments.

  2. Marita-847688 September 16, 2012 Reply

    I never understood a woman’s obsession to get married by age 30. I guess it has to do with self worth. I thought it was ridiculous, but the closer I get to leaving my 20s the more I understand the fear. I’m scared that I’ll never get married and never have someone to love.

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