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Urban Marriage Analysis - 5/22/15

Want to get married, then don’t grow up in New York.  According to a new analysis of data compiled by a team of Harvard economists, spending one’s childhood in places like Washington, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and New York renders people about ten percentage points less likely to marry relative to the balance of the United States. 

According to writers David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy, no place encourages marriage like the Mountain West, particularly in heavily Morman areas of Utah, southern Idaho and portions of Colorado.  The database covers more than five million people who moved as children during the nineteen eightees and ninetees.  Among the country’s fifty largest counties, the top five in terms of reducing one’s likelihood of getting married would all be in the New York area. 

One caveat to the research – all of these statistics analyze a child’s odds of being married by the age of twenty-six.  According to the researchers, growing up in places like New York and Washington does not simply delay marriage.  The researchers found very similar patterns when they analyzed data up to the age of thirty.  Children who grow up in New York appear less likely to be married by the age of twenty six, thirty, or ever.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.