Saturday, October 7, 2017

Who tends to be happier with their marriage?

People are being pickier about who they marry and waiting longer to tie the knot. And with half of marriages ending in divorce, it’s gotten a lot easier to exit unpleasant unions. So, the state of the American marriage should be happier than ever, right?

Instead, the quality of American marriages has dropped significantly. While most Americans say they’re  still “very happy” in their marriages, the number is down from the early 1970s, from 68 percent to 60 percent.


More men say they’re happier with their marriages than women do, for example. That’s consistent with other research suggesting that men tend to get more out of being married than women. Not surprisingly, religiosity—which usually emphasizes family and fidelity—also appears to play a role in marital happiness.

It’s more difficult to pinpoint why Americans with extreme political views are happier than moderates. “It’s possible that the people with more extreme political views are more likely to have a spouse who agrees with them,” Cohen said.

Of all the factors analyzed by Cohen, however, the one with the greatest effect on Americans’ marital happiness was economic status. ... it turns out there’s a 17-point gap between the happiness in lower- and upper-class marriages.

--Ben Steverman, Bloomberg, on correlates of marital happiness