Health & Family

College majors are more likely to marry each other

Picking a major is already difficult enough for college kids. 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 analyzed U.S. 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 percent of married couples over the age of 22 both graduated from college. (The survey didn’t recognize same-sex marriages for the 2012 data, but it will for 2013 onwards, says Kopf.)

Among the 50 most common college majors, more than 10 percent of married partners that both had college degrees had the same major, according to Kopf’s analysis of the data.

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 percent 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.

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.

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