A few months ago, I wrote a post about a friend of mine who seemed to think the No. 1 indicator of whether or not I will get married is whether or not I've been proposed to before.
I don't agree with his hypothesis, and I suppose my secret theory is that I'll never get married because the idea of living with someone — fully cohabiting — generally seems pretty unappealing. I want my freedom! I want my space! I want separate apartments!
But yesterday on The Daily Beast, there was an article packed with real statistics that will help to predict whether a person is going to get hitched.
I thought a few of the Beast's factoids were a little silly — or at least not very applicable to you guys (or to most readers). For instance: "If you've never received a bone-marrow transplant, you're 14 percent more likely to marry than someone who has received a bone-marrow transplant." Hmm. Ohh-kay. And what about someone who has received a triple bypass? ...
I went over the piece and pulled out what I thought were the most interesting statistics that help predict whether you'll get married.
1. If you live in the U.S., your chances of getting married before reaching age 40 are 86 percent if you're a woman, 81 percent if you're a man.
2. If you have a high IQ, you're 29 percent more likely to get married than a person with a low IQ.
3. There's a 75 percent chance that you'll remarry if you've divorced. (But the divorce rate for second marriages is even higher than it is for first marriages.)
4. If you live in Nebraska, you're 30 percent more likely to get married than if you live in Washington, D.C.
As The Beast says: "The capital is home to our nation's lowest marriage rate. At 24.9 percent, it's less than half the rates of 42 other states, including Idaho (57.3), Minnesota (54.1), West Virginia (55.1), and Nebraska (54.9). California has the second lowest marriage rate, at 47.8 percent." (If you want to find out about the rates in your state, check out the Marital Status Census Brief.)
5. If you're a woman who was not overweight as an adolescent, you're 20 percent more likely to get married than a woman who was overweight as an adolescent.
And if you're a man who wasn't overweight as a kid, you're 11 percent more likely to get married than men who were. To explain this phenomenon, The Beast quotes clinical psychologist Guy Grenier, adjunct professor of human sexuality at the University of Western Ontario: "One of the factors that increase the probability of bonding is confidence. One's degree of confidence might be compromised early in one's social trajectory if one felt ostracized or judged based on one's appearance."
6. Women who lived with both biological or adoptive parents at age 14 are 12 percent more likely to marry than those who didn't.
The Beast adds: "According to the CDC, those who didn't live with both their folks at 14 are six percent more likely to cohabit: that is, to live with partners while unmarried. 'Children of divorced parents typically have one of two attitudes toward marriage: Delay it because they've witnessed the pain that comes from doing it poorly, or dive into it because they feel — rightly or wrongly — that they've learned what not to do in a marriage relationship,' says Seattle Pacific University psychology professor Les Parrott, the author of Saving Marriage Before It Starts. 'Unfortunately, the divorce rate does not favor their odds any more than others who marry.'"
7. If you're a born-again Christian, you're 19 percent more likely to get married than an atheist is.
(You're also less likely to get rejected by eHarmony, apparently.)
8. If you're a college graduate, you're nine to 14 percent more likely to get married than someone who never finished high school.
It seems that this is because you're more likely to meet a partner if you're both milling around on the same campus together for four years. And judging from the preponderance of people I went to college with who got married to each other, I'd have to agree.
9. If you're living with a lover for the first time, there's a 65 percent chance that you'll be married within five years.
Which I assume means there's a 35 percent chance you'll end up wanting to kill him for never remembering to buy toilet paper.
10. A "conscientious" man is at least 50 percent more likely to get married than a man who isn't conscientious.
The Beast says: "The researchers who conducted the study that yielded this figure define conscientiousness as 'the degree to which a person is willing to comply with conventional rules and norms.' Conscientious people, they explain, 'place a high value on order' and are 'self-disciplined.'" So perhaps this means that one more of the things you should know about a guy before you kiss him is whether he's conscientious?
11. A single woman serving in the U.S. military is more than 200 percent more likely to get married than single civilian women are.
Wow! Again, what seems to be at play here is simple proximity: A woman in the service is around more dudes with whom she could potentially mate.
All right, folks. Let me know if these leave you feeling optimistic, pessimistic, or indifferent.