Monday, November 11, 2013

Women over 40 are "more likely to be killed by a terrorist" than find a husband.

(start the video at 38 seconds in)

Have you ever wondered about this statistic? 
Women over 40 are "more likely to be killed by a terrorist" than find a husband.
The now-infamous statistic from a 1986 Newsweek article (and Sleepless in Seattle) was about the poor marriage prospects of educated women older than 30. 

The truth is, it's sort of true, but mostly not. 

"The Marriage Crunch" was based on a study by Harvard and Yale researchers that projected college-educated women had a 20 percent chance of getting married if they were still single at 30, a 5 percent chance at age 35, and just a 2.6 percent chance at age 40. The article seemed to reinforce the most old-fashioned ideas of women's place in society, and both infuriated and struck fear into the hearts of women across the country.

Rather than go into all of the details regarding the misrepresentation of the facts in that original article, (enough credible news sources have already done that), I'll just stick to some more interesting and honest details on the likelihood of marriage at different ages. 
If you live in Nebraska, you're 30 percent more likely to get married than if you live in Washington, D.C. The capital is home to our nation's lowest marriage rate. At 24.9 percent, it's less than half the rates of 42 other states, including Idaho (57.3), Minnesota (54.1), West Virginia (55.1), and Nebraska (54.9). California has the second lowest, at 47.8 percent. Source: Marital Status: 2000: Census Brief
The report on first marriage in the USA by the National Center for Health Statistics found:
Based on interviews with a national survey sample of 12,571 men and women about their marriage history-
Although most men and women between ages 35 and 44 have married for the first time by 35, lower percentages of men have married than women. The survey found that 17% of women had not married for the first time by age 35, while 25% of men had not.

The probability of first marriage by age 30 is 74% for women and 61% for men.

At age 25, women have a 50-50 chance of being married for the first time; men have a 50-50 chance of being married by age 27.

Among those ages 25—44, 71% of men and 79% of women have ever been married.

The report, based on data from the National Survey of Family Growth, conducted in 2002 among ages 15-44, also includes socio-economic, racial and ethnic breakdowns. Overall, being poor is associated with greater proportions of men and women not marrying by age 35.

Regarding race and ethnicity for ages 25—44, the survey found lower percentages of black men and women who have ever been married compared with the same ages who are white or Hispanic. For women in that age group, whites have the highest percentage of ever being married (84%) while the lowest percentage is among blacks (56%).

Hispanic women have a higher probability of marriage by age 18 (10%) than white women (6%) or black women (3%).

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