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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Trends in Educational Assortative Marriage From 1940 to 2003

  • Author(s): Schwartz, Christine R
  • Mare, Robert D
  • et al.

This paper reports trends in educational assortative marriage from 1940 to 2003 in the U.S. Analyses of Census and Current Population Survey data show that educational homogamy increased over most of this period, although there is some evidence of stabilization in the 1990s. From 1940 to the early-1970s, these increases were generated by decreasing intermarriage among groups of relatively well educated persons. Beginning in the early-1970s, the odds of intermarriage among the highly educated stabilized while the odds that high school dropouts marry up dropped substantially. These trends are similar for a broad cross-section of married couples and for newlyweds.

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