March 22, 2010

More Men Marrying Up

22%

Roughly two in ten married women earn more than their spouses, up from 4% in 1970.

Far more married women now earn more income and have more education than their husbands than in decades past. In 1970, only 4% of wives earned more than their spouses, while 20% of married women had achieved the higher level of education in their relationship (28% of married men had more education than their spouse and 52% of married couples had the same level of education). By 2007, 22% of wives out-earned their spouse and 28% had more education (just 19% of husbands had more education while 53% of couples were equally educated). While an achievement for women, the largest benefactors from their gains are men. When relatively few wives worked, marriage enhanced the economic status of women more than men, but recent trends have made the economic gains associated with marriage greater for men than for women. With more men marrying a fellow breadwinner (if not marrying up), married men have surpassed unmarried men in per capita median household income. Read More