A recent study by the National Marriage Project found that American women who waited until 30 or later had higher earning power and increased socioeconomic status. The report, charmingly called "Knot Yet," showed that:
- Women enjoy an annual income premium if they wait until 30 or later to marry. For college-educated women in their midthirties, this premium amounts to $18,152.
- Delayed marriage has helped to bring down the divorce rate in the U.S. since the early 1980s because couples who marry in their early twenties and especially their teens are more likely to divorce than couples who marry later.
It's important to note, however, that these findings pertained only to the college-educated among the sample. For women who did not graduate from college, delayed marriage doesn't necessarily lead to economic gains, because Americans of every class are putting off marriage (but not child-bearing) until later. The "decoupling" of marriage and parenthood, the study's authors say, while not necessarily negative in itself, can lead to negative economic repercussions for lower-earning parents.
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