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Thread: Cities where residents "marry young" - any data availabele?

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Cities where residents "marry young" - any data availabele?

    There's a meme in Buffalo and Cleveland that residents there tend to "marry young", and that they're "good places to have a family and settle down". Both of those cities also have a reputation for the many educated young adults that leave in search of better opportunities elsewhere.

    Is there any data available that can back up whether a region is a "family town" or not, where residents marry at a fairly young age? I found data on the average age for first marriages for states, but not for cities or metropolitan areas.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    This would positively correlate with % of college graduates, and even moreso with % of graduate degree holders. We tried to gather stats like this for some economic development work at my last job, and I'm pretty sure that MSA level data isn't available for this.

    I'm sure there are also MSAs in which the majority of the core city residents marry later, but in the surrounding area, everyone marries much younger. Pittsburgh, for example.

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    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Good points, MJ.

    I don't believe "how old were you when you married the first time?" is a question on the census any longer, but it might have been 100 years ago. The census questions change as society changes. In 1930, the US census asked if people owned a radio.

    There are a lot of other issues with finding out if people "marry young" in a particular city. For example, people don't have to be city, or even state, residents to get married in a particular city. Marriage licenses also don't indicate if this is a first marriage or a second or even third one.
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. -- John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    Good points, MJ.

    I don't believe "how old were you when you married the first time?" is a question on the census any longer, but it might have been 100 years ago. The census questions change as society changes. In 1930, the US census asked if people owned a radio.

    There are a lot of other issues with finding out if people "marry young" in a particular city. For example, people don't have to be city, or even state, residents to get married in a particular city. Marriage licenses also don't indicate if this is a first marriage or a second or even third one.
    These questions are asked in the general social survey but not by census. The data do not allow for individual cities or even states.

    It's not a function of the number of college students. In general, all Americans tend to marry 3-5 years after leaving school, regardless of when they finish andregardless of race/ethnivity. Cities with younger married people would tend to have less educated populations.

  5. #5
    These data can be available only on church these days, no one bothers with these things anymore.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    The best I could figure on this one is just look at cities where there's the highest percentage of married couples then look at the ones with the lowest average age. This is obviously going to leave something to be desired though.

    I'd imagine the places where people marry youngest are going to be in Utah. In general, suburbs appear to have the highest percentage of married people but that's not a setting where I'd expect to see the youngest married people.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    The best I could figure on this one is just look at cities where there's the highest percentage of married couples then look at the ones with the lowest average age. This is obviously going to leave something to be desired though.

    .
    This would result in a tremendous statistical error because you are applying group level characteristics to individuals and aggregating the results back to the group. These are known as ecological and atomistic fallacies. An example of the first is the fct that wealthier counties have higher heart diseas rates. The fallacy would be to conclude that within a country wealthier people have mor heart disease. Infant, lower income people have a higher risk. An example of the atomistic fallacy would be to take data that suggest wealthy people oppose social andenvironmental programs to conclude that wealthier countries have less support for social assistance andenviripibmental programming. The application is wrong.

    Sorry to go all statistical on you.

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    Census Bureau

    I think the Census Bureau has that kind of information. I know Salt Lake City has a really high rate of young marriages (and divorces). Not sure about exact figures.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
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    I would (unfortunately) think that the youngest (for females) is in Colorado City, AZ, Hildale, UT, and Eldorado, TX. Obtaining data on this would likely be impossible though.

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