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The trends of declining marriage rates and increasing divorce rates, shown by Stevenson and Wolfers, continue with the 1957–1964 NLSY79 cohort.
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.
About equal proportions of men and women who received a college degree married by age 46, 88 percent for men and 90 percent for women.
Men and women who did not complete high school were less likely to marry than were men and women with more education.
College graduates and those with less education married at approximately the same rates, but college graduates married later (at age 24.9 versus age 22.8).Many changes in the last half century have affected marriage and divorce rates.The rise of the women’s liberation movement, the advent of the sexual revolution, and an increase in women’s labor force participation altered perceptions of gender roles within marriage during the last 50 years.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.A comparison of the two cohorts shows that the likelihood of marriage declined, the average age at first marriage increased by 1 year, and married couples were more likely to divorce in the latter cohort.