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Study: Lack of ‘economically attractive’ men to blame for marriage decline

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – There’s a steady decline in marriages in the United States, and a shortage of “economically attractive” men may be to blame.

That’s according to a new study by Cornell University published in the Journal of Marriage and Family by the National Council on Family Relations.

U.S. marriage rates have reached a 150-year low, according to the study, which was conducted between 2012 and 2017.

Researchers analyzed opposite-sex couples, comparing the incomes of “potential” male spouses with those of men who married women of a similar demographic and found that men who haven’t tied the knot earned 58% less than those who did get married.

According to the study’s findings, racial and ethnic minorities, especially black women, face even more of a shortage of potential marital partners.

What factors make someone “economically attractive?”

According to the study, you must have a bachelor’s degree or a stable job making at least $40,000 a year.

Those “dream” husbands also were 30% more likely to be employed and 19% more likely to have a college degree.

“This study reveals large deficits in the supply of potential male spouses,” the study said. “One implication is that the unmarried may remain unmarried or marry less well‐suited partners.”

In 1960, 72% of adults in the U.S. were married, according to Pew Research.

While more adult couples are reportedly living together now, only 50% are married.