Number of students who marry after studying the same subject at university on-the-rise, new data shows

Data shows marrying within own major is more common for people who are an extreme gender minority in their field

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The Independent Online

Picking a university subject is already difficult enough for young people. But here’s an extra piece of data to weigh on your decision: you may be picking a life partner as well.

Dan Kopf of the blog, Priceonomics, analysed US Census data and found that the percentage of Americans who marry someone within their own major is actually fairly high.

About half of Americans are married, according to the 2012 American Community Survey (part of the Census). And about 28 per cent of married couples over the age of 22 both graduated from college. (The survey didn’t recognise same-sex marriages for the 2012 data, but it will for 2013 onwards, says Kopf).

Among the 50 most common college majors, more than ten per cent of married partners that both had college degrees had the same major, according to Kopf’s analysis of the data.

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Depending on which subjects students pick, they may just end up picking a life partner too, data shows

As you might guess, the propensity to wed varies by major. The undergrad major in which it is most common is theology and religious vocations, where 21 per cent of couples had the same major. Next is general science, followed by pharmacy, music and computer science.

Interestingly, the data shows that marrying within your major is more common for people who are an extreme gender minority in their field of study. For example, both male nurses and female engineers are much more likely to find a spouse in their major.

For example, here is the data specifically for women. General engineering, a male-dominated field, comes first, followed by theology. Then come electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, computer science and physics. It's a nice twist on that sexist trope of a woman going to college to get her ‘M.R.S.’ – if a woman really were to do that, she would end up as a competent engineer.

The same holds true for men. Those who study female-dominated disciplines tend to marry more within their major. An incredible 43 per cent of male nursing students marry someone within their same major. That’s followed by elementary education, general education, music, art and music education.

Most people go to school to get an education, develop a career, and start – or maybe delay – their adult lives. But depending on which major you pick, you may pick up a life partner, too.

Courtesy of The Washington Post

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