Here’s What Your Hometown Says About Your Relationship

Photographed by Lauren Perlstein.
It seems we're either full of hometown pride or we try to forget about it as soon as we leave. Either way, where we grew up is one of several important factors that can predict our relationship status later on, reports The New York Times. Last week, the Times's Upshot blog analyzed data compiled by researchers at Harvard. The research originally looked into the elements of our lives that can influence upward mobility as well as tax and housing policy. As it turned out, though, the analysis found a few unexpected patterns: First, where we grow up is highly associated with our chances of being married by the age of 26. Those who started their lives in more liberal areas, such as New York City or San Francisco, were about 10 percentage points less likely to be married compared to the rest of the country. However, those in more conservative areas were more likely to be married by 26. And, places that discouraged marriage tended to be big cities, while less densely populated towns tended to encourage it. Of course, the pattern was more complicated than this in certain areas of the country. For instance, in the South, income was also a huge mediating factor. Even though states like Florida and Alabama include regions where people are very unlikely to be married, that trend nearly disappears when looking at only high-income residents. In the South, it's actually that wealthier people get married earlier in life.  This certainly doesn't mean that where you grew up will seal your fate. Still, we're seeing changes in marriage rates overall; there are currently more never-married Americans than ever before. And, that goes hand-in-hand with the finding that over half of the U.S. is "single" right now. So, if that's you, know that you're in good company. A lot of it, actually. (The New York Times)

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