The Marriage Gap

If you are part of the nearly 60% of Americans who graduated from high school and perhaps completed a few college courses or undertook vocational training, then it’s likely you are in a bad marriage or have already gotten out of one. The Marriage Project at the University of Virginia is responsible for this information, and they are quick to label this growing “retreat from marriage” by moderately educated Americans (also referred to as Middle America) as compared to their college-educated peers as the “Marriage Gap”.

“Moderately educated Americans have seen their rates of divorce and non-marital childbearing rise, while their odds of wedded bliss have fallen.”

And, non-marital childbearing among the moderately educated is growing at an alarming rate.

“From 1982 to 2010, the percentage of non-marital births among the moderately educated exploded from 13% to 44%.”

This is a huge disadvantage for kids of the moderately educated because research has shown that growing up in a two-parent family brings enormous social advantages to children.

Children in these families are more likely “to graduate from high school, finish college, become gainfully employed, and enjoy a stable family life themselves,” said University of Virginia scholar Brad Wilcox.

Does this growing marriage gap spell the end of the American Dream of a happy marriage, stable job, 2.4 kids, a dog and a house in the suburbs? The research seems to indicate just that – yet more bad news for Middle America.


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