Washington, D.C. Young adults with college degrees are now more likely to be married than those who are less educated, a reversal of longtime trends as the struggling economy pushes weddings to all-time lows.
About 62 percent of college-educated 30-year-olds were married or had been married, compared with 60 percent of those without a bachelor’s degree, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data. That is a significant shift from the 1990s, when young adults who didn’t finish college were more likely to have wed than their better-educated counterparts, 75 percent to 69 percent.
The median age at first marriage for those lacking degrees has now risen to 28, drawing even with those who are college-educated. As recently as 1990, the gap had been as much as three years apart — age 27 for college-educated, age 24 for those not.
Demographers attributed the shift partly to an economic downturn that has hit lesser-educated workers harder. As a whole, more younger adults are postponing marriage while they struggle to find work, and those lacking college degrees are seeing sharper declines in marriage.