Where are we going? To how marriage markets differ.
Since 1979, more women were enrolled in college than men. According to Harvard economist Claudia Goldin, the reason is the pill. Once women could time the birth of their children, they could plan a career and aspire to financial independence. As labor force participation became more valuable, so too did college.
For gender ratios at colleges, below you can see the proportion of women for selected years. At 50.9 percent, women become the majority in 1979.
Because assortative mating means college graduates want to go out with each other, then again, women could face an imbalance. Among college educated individuals in their 20s, there are four women for every three men. For those in their 30s, the ratio is five women for every four men.
Still though, it depends where you live. The “educated man deficit” is high in Fort Lauderdale while we have an “educated woman deficit” in San Jose.
However, if we just look at age and gender across the U.S., the situation changes.
First, the big picture, age 18-64. (I guess the women are in the East and the men in the West.):
Then, for individuals age 45-64, there are more single women across the country:
With a younger cohort, aged 35-44, the balance changes:
And flips to more single men when the cohort is ages 25 to 34:
Our Bottom Line: Marriage Markets
Explained by Nobel economics laureate, Gary Becker (1930-2014), forget love and marriage. Instead think supply, demand and marriage markets. On the supply side, we have women who have become “more valuable” because of higher pay and more education. Meanwhile, the demand for those women depends on the gender ratio in that area. Where there is an “educated man deficit,” fewer women on that supply curve are finding mates.