A Study Blames Lack of ‘Economically-Attractive’ Men for Declining Marriage Rates


Uh oh. This sure doesn’t sound good. I know fewer people have been getting married, but I thought the cultural shift was due to other things.

Once again, I was wrong.

Researchers at Cornell University released a study with a pretty sobering conclusion: there aren’t as many “economically-attractive” men as there used to be for unmarried women to pick from.


The researchers looked at data from marriages between 2007-2013 and 2013-2017. They then looked at the financial and sociodemographic data of the potential husbands for unmarried women by creating economic profiles based on real husbands who had already married similar women. Then, the “potential husbands” were compared to real population data of men across the United States.

After they crunched the numbers, the researchers found some grim data: the “potential husbands,” aka the ones who don’t exist, had an average income 58% higher than the actual, real population of unmarried men currently on the market in the U.S. The “potential husbands” also were 19% more likely to have college degrees and 30% more likely to be employed.

In a media release, the study’s lead author Dr. Daniel T. Lichter said:

“Most American women hope to marry but current shortages of marriageable men–men with a stable job and a good income–make this increasingly difficult, especially in the current gig economy of unstable low-paying service jobs. Marriage is still based on love, but it also is fundamentally an economic transaction. Many young men today have little to bring to the marriage bargain, especially as young women’s educational levels on average now exceed their male suitors.”

Man, reality can be a real bummer sometimes…