In addition, marriages of women were more likely to end in divorce, as were marriages that began at younger ages.On average, women married at younger ages than men.Because the NLSY79 contains a longitudinal marital history for each respondent, the survey permits the study of marriage and divorce over the life cycle.For a specific cohort, the NLSY79 can provide statistics on the percentage of marriages that end in divorce. Because the NLSY79 collects data on many aspects of respondents’ lives—including employment, fertility, and income—many researchers have used the NLSY79 to look at marriage in conjunction with a variety of outcomes.The trends of declining marriage rates and increasing divorce rates, shown by Stevenson and Wolfers, continue with the 1957–1964 NLSY79 cohort.The longitudinal survey shows the same patterns regarding differences between racial/ethnic groups and education groups as did the SIPP—though the NLSY79 differences between college graduates and the other education groups are even starker.
College graduates were 10 percentage points less likely to divorce.
Cultural norms changed in ways that decreased the aversion to being single and increased the probability of cohabitation.
Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79)—a survey of people born during the 1957–1964 period—this study examines the marriage and divorce patterns for a cohort of young baby boomers up to age 46.
While the marriage rate for the NLSY79 cohort fell to 86.8 percent compared with 89.5 percent for the 1950–1955 cohort, the rate among college graduates slipped only slightly, from 89.5 percent to 89.0 percent, between the two cohorts.
In addition, though the rate of divorce rose to 44.8 percent in the NLSY79 cohort compared with 40.8 percent in the 1950–1955 cohort, the rate of divorce among college graduates fell from 34.8 percent to 29.7 percent.Marriage patterns differed markedly by age at marriage and by educational attainment.