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Socioeconomic Marriage Differentials in Australia and New Zealand

Genevieve Heard
Population and Development Review
Vol. 37, No. 1 (MARCH 2011), pp. 125-160
Published by: Population Council
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23043264
Page Count: 36
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Socioeconomic Marriage Differentials in Australia and New Zealand
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Abstract

While marriage rates are relatively stable among better-educated men and women, they are rapidly declining among those with low educational attainment. This development has been recognized in the US as a new socioeconomic pattern of marriage. This article uses census data to show that socioeconomic marriage differentials are also increasing in Australia and New Zealand. These differentials have previously been noted independently of each other and of the international picture. In synthesizing the antipodean data, the article documents the new socioeconomic marriage pattern as an international phenomenon. This article further considers the extent to which the availabel explanations for the new marriage pattern fit the antipodean setting. In general, the factors identified as important in the North American setting are applicable to both Australia and New Zealand. In particular, the poor marriage prospects of men with low educational attainment appear to be common to these post-industrial economies with minimalist welfare states.

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