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The chance of a marriage ending in divorce was lower for people with more education, with over half of marriages of those who did not complete high school having ended in divorce compared with approximately 30 percent of marriages of college graduates.
In their 2007 study, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers used data from the 2001 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to examine marriage and divorce patterns up to age 45 for cohorts born in 1940–19–1955.
The longitudinal survey shows the same patterns regarding differences between racial/ethnic groups and education groups as did the SIPP—though the NLSY79 differences between college graduates and the other education groups are even starker.
While the marriage rate for the NLSY79 cohort fell to 86.8 percent compared with 89.5 percent for the 1950–1955 cohort, the rate among college graduates slipped only slightly, from 89.5 percent to 89.0 percent, between the two cohorts.
In the NLSY79, women in this cohort were more likely to marry and to remarry than were men.
In addition, marriages of women were more likely to end in divorce, as were marriages that began at younger ages.
Men and women who did not complete high school were less likely to marry than were men and women with more education.
Many changes in the last half century have affected marriage and divorce rates.
On average, women married at younger ages than men.
Marriage patterns differed markedly by age at marriage and by educational attainment.
In addition, though the rate of divorce rose to 44.8 percent in the NLSY79 cohort compared with 40.8 percent in the 1950–1955 cohort, the rate of divorce among college graduates fell from 34.8 percent to 29.7 percent.
The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 is particularly well suited for studying marriage and divorce patterns.
This said, it is a simple truth of life that if you act differently from the way the majority does, you will be misunderstood by most.