Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Marriage Statistics

During the first class of my English 316 class, the professor had everyone introduce themselves by saying where they were from, what they are studying, and what they want to do.  There were three others guys in my class studying Construction Management, and I noticed that those other guys were married, too.  Later, the teacher asked if anyone had any kids, and the only ones with kids in my class were those studying Construction Management and and older student coming back to earn her bachelors degree.

This made me wonder if students studying Construction Management were more likely to be married than students from any other major, or if my class just happened to be a coincidence. I was wondering how I could find this out and I decided that I needed to speak with someone in the Administrations Office at BYU.  So in a fifteen minute break I had in between classes, I walked over to the Administration Building and asked where I could find out marriage statistics broken down by majors.  They had no idea, but gave me the number for the Office of University Communications.  I called that office and spoke with the person in charge of compiling the Y Facts pamphlet.  I told him what I was looking for and he emailed me the data.  It was pretty easy.  The only problem is that the data was broken down by college rather than major, but it does shed some interesting light onto the subject.


Here is the data that was sent to me (this data includes both graduate and undergraduate day-continuing students):


Marriage statistics by college, Fall 2009



College
Single
Married
Total
Education
1470
478
1948
Engineering & Technology
2265
1109
3374
Family, Home & Social Sciences
3325
1326
4651
Fine Arts & Communications
3181
769
3950
Graduate Studies
49
105
154
Humanities
1867
671
2538
International & Area Studies
577
155
732
Law School
175
265
440
Life Sciences
3456
1254
4710
Management
2695
1364
4059
Nursing
706
154
860
Physical and Mathematical Sciences
1645
545
2190
Religious Education
1
19
20
Student Life
3161
168
3329
Total
24573
8382
32955

Now, to normalize the data, I just found the percentage of those married in each college, and this is what I found (organized from highest percentages to lowest):

Religious Education...........................................95.0 %
Graduate Studies..............................................68.2 %
Law School......................................................60.2 %
Management.....................................................33.6 %
Engineering &Technology..........................32.9 %
Family, Home &Social Sciences................28.5 %
Life Sciences....................................................26.6 %
Humanities.......................................................26.4 %
Physical & Mathematical Sciences............24.9 %
Education........................................................24.5 %
International & Area Studies.....................21.2 %
Fine Arts & Communication.....................19.5 %
Nursing...........................................................17.9 %
Student Life.....................................................5.0 %

There were some surprising results from this study.  For instance, I was expecting Nursing to be higher. I'm not sure why I was expecting that. Law School and Graduate Studies makes sense because those students are usually older than those getting their bachelors degree.  A third of the students in Management and Engineering & Technology are married, but only a fifth are married in Fine Arts & Communication and International & Area Studies. And I have no idea what "Student Life" is.

Do you think there is a difference between colleges because some of these majors have the potential to earn more money than others, and so guys majoring in these subjects attract more girls? Maybe it says something about their personality: people in engineering are problem solvers whereas people in International Studies often have to study and understand conflict.  I really don't know.  But there is a significant difference between these colleges, so much so that you can't dismiss the data.

2 comments:

Kathy Haynie said...

It might be gender biased. BYU has the weird demographic of the men all being older than the women after freshmen year, because of mission service. Older students are more likely to be married than younger ones.

Katie said...

I wonder if Family Home and Social Sciences would be higher if girls didn't drop out when they get married.