Where You Grow Up Determines Your Likelihood Of Getting Married, Because These Hometowns Discourage Marriage

Although you may think you’ve left your childhood town securely in your past, faraway from your fancy adult life, a new study has found that your hometown affects when you will get married. It not only affects the age at which you’ll marry, but if you’ll even marry at all. So, if you’re sitting around wondering why the hell you’re not hitched yet, you can probably blame your parents for this one, too. They are the reason you were raised where you raised after all.

But blaming mom and dad aside, because you do that enough, the data compiled by Harvard economists found that it doesn’t really matter where you move to, but where you’re from. For example, having been raised in liberal areas like New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, or Washington, D.C. makes people 10 percent points less likely to marry in comparison to the rest of the country. In contract, people raised in conservative and religious areas, like Utah and Southern Idaho, tend to get married far younger. Although, as the New York Times points out, while this is the case, the researchers are unsure as to why this pattern exists.

At negative 12.2 percentage points, Washington, D.C. is at the top of the list of having inhabitants less likely to marry in relation to the rest of the country. Also in the top 10 are San Francisco and Manhattan. But curiously, once the data is broken down by counties, New York City and its suburbs account for half of the list, including Bronx County, Nassau County, Suffolk County, New York County, and Essex Country, NJ.

Apparently, New York just doesn’t raise people who want to do the whole marriage thing.

When the researchers dug even further and took into account the 2012 presidential election, they found that not only do liberal hometowns discourage marriage, but so do liberal politics. Counties that were 90 percent in favor of Mitt Romney during the last presidential election were 25 percentage points higher in relation to the rest of the country in regards to marriage, whereas counties that were 90 percent in favor of Obama were negative 15 percentage points. Republicans are far more in support of “traditional” family values (ie. marriage and babies) than Democrats.

I think the reality here has more to do with politics and than hometowns. Certain parts of the country are red and other parts are blue, and it’s in those blue states that children are raised to understand that there is more to life than settling down and getting married as soon as possible. This isn’t to knock marriage, but it is to say that there’s more to life than getting hitched. So, as I said, if you’re sitting around totally bummed that you haven’t walked down the aisle yet and you’re pushing 30, take a look at your hometown and maybe you can finally get some answers as to why. Then hop in your Delorean and change the past stat ... or give your online dating profile a makeover. Whichever seems more reasonable.

Images: John Hope/Flickr; Giphy(2)