Wedding bells... somewhere else

nyt upshot marriage mapKids who grew up in the Capital Region in the 1980s and 1990s have been somewhat less likely to get married than the national average.

That's one of the bits from the The Upshot's latest sift through the data about how place affect a kid's income mobility. For the Capital Region core, people were less likely to be married at age 26 compared to national average by:

+ Albany County: 6 percentage points less likely
+ Rensselaer County: 4 percentage points less likely
+ Saratoga County: 3 percentage points less likely
+ Schenectady County: 5 percentage points less likely

From the article:

These conclusions -- based on an Upshot analysis of data compiled by a team of Harvard economists studying upward mobility, housing and tax policy -- are not simply observations about correlation. The economists instead believe that they have identified a causal role that geography plays in people's lives. The data, which covers more than five million people who moved as children in the 1980s and 1990s, suggests that children who move from, say, Idaho to Chicago really do become less likely to marry, even if the numbers can't explain exactly why these patterns exist.

David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy write that the patterns appear to be hold form through age 30. Another takeaway:

One of the most striking relationships we found in the data was between political ideology and the marriage effect: The more strongly a county voted Republican in the 2012 election, the more that growing up there generally encourages marriage.

There's a good graph accompanying the article that illustrates that point.

One angle that didn't surface in the article that we're interested to see how it fits in: Is there any pattern involving the relative income of single women and men and the likelihood of people getting married?

Earlier on AOA: If place matters, why?

map clip: New York Times The Upshot

Comments

The age cutoff is interesting, though, and I wonder if that skews the numbers. Isn't it possible that a lot of people in those areas DID get married, but because of education/career/something else, they got married later than 26 or 30?

@KB : I agree. Many of my friends (myself included) went through undergrad, grad and then a couple of years settling in at an out-of-state job (save some $$, get settled) before getting married.

It also seems much more commonplace to live with your S.O. before getting married. Maybe in the past that would have been when a traditional marriage proposal happened, but now that gets pushed back a year or two.

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