These days, when wives have more education than their husbands, there seems to be no increased chance of divorce at all, says a new study published in the American Sociological Review this week. In fact, couples who've attained the same level of education actually have less of a chance of splitting up than other couples.
After noticing that all previous research had only looked at marriages formed before women advanced beyond men in the realm of education (circa the 1980s), researchers Christine R. Schwartz and Hongyun Han decided to take a closer look at the National Survey of Family Growth and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, where previous researchers had gotten their data. Schwartz and Han not only reexamined data for marriages formed between 1950 until the mid-1980s, but they also updated the time series to include marriages formed through 2004.
Their analysis revealed that all of the conventional wisdom about education and divorce was seriously outdated: Starting with couples married in the '90s, wives' educational advantage was no longer associated with a higher risk of divorce. And spouses with the same education level who married between 2000 and 2004 were about one-third less likely to divorce than marriages in which husbands had more education than their wives.
"Younger generations are increasingly egalitarian," Schwartz, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told The Huffington Post. "These findings are in line with the shift from a homemaker/breadwinner model of marriage to a more egalitarian marriage, where women have higher status than men are not as threatening to men's gender identity and less salient for marital stability."
And it doesn't seem like husbands will have much of a choice soon: With the number of women enrolled in university increasing while the number of men enrolled drops, the dating pool for males seeking less-educated females is only getting smaller. Luckily, this study can assuage any fears about marital stability as it relates to education.
"This has big implications for the compositions of people's marriage markets," Schwartz said. "And from our study, it looks like people are adapting to those demographic realities."
It's often said that the first rule of real estate is "location, location, location." But if you have a spouse, a couple of kids and maybe even a dog, other factors like affordability and proximity to schools really start to play larger roles.
Turns out families don't even have to sacrifice the first rule of real estate, anyway. Looks like you really can have it all.
To be considered, at least 10 home sales must have closed in that region's school district in 2013. ZipRealty's School Score ratings measure the performance of each school district, including elementary, middle and high schools, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. ZipRealty calculates the School Score based on test-score data. Cross-referencing those School Scores with housing information such as per square foot sales prices gives consumers a window into the most affordable areas with the strongest local education systems.
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According to the data, 65 percent of surveyed American principals told the OECD that more than 30 percent of their students come from disadvantaged homes. Only 13 percent of U.S. students are considered disadvantaged by OECD standards, though the data does not indicate how these students are distributed among the pool of U.S. schools surveyed for this report. Approximately half of the 29 countries surveyed have a higher percentage of disadvantaged students, compared to the U.S.
The graph below –- made by the OECD -- details the findings. The horizontal axis shows the percentage of middle school teachers “who work in schools where their principal reported that more than 30 percent of students in their school were from disadvantaged homes,” according to the OECD blog. The vertical axis shows the real-world numbers of students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds or have low "economic, social and cultural status" (abbreviated "ESCS"), according to an OECD index.
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Written by Andreas Schleicher, OECD Director for Education and Skills, the blog post hypothesizes that what is considered poor in places like the U.S. and France might not be considered poor in other countries. He also wonders what bearing principals’ perceptions of their students could have on these students’ educational outcomes, and he points out that low-income students tend to perform better on international tests in places where principals are less likely to perceive them as disadvantaged.
“France has a comparatively small share of disadvantaged students, but school principals perceive this share to be large, and student learning outcomes are closely related to social background -- more closely, in fact, than in any other country except Chile and the Slovak Republic,” writes Schleicher. “More generally, the results show that principals’ perception of disadvantage correlates with inequalities in education opportunities more strongly than real disadvantage does.”