A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family suggests that in the US the number of people getting married has declined sharply, due in part to a shortage of economically attractive men.
According to the research: 'Women’s potential husbands had an average income that was about 58% higher than the actual unmarried men currently available to unmarried women. They also were 30% more likely to be employed and 19% more likely to have a college degree.
The researchers found that racial and ethnic minorities, especially black women, face serious shortages of potential marital partners, as do unmarried women with either low or high socioeconomic status.
“Most American women hope to marry but current shortages of marriageable men—men with a stable job and a good income—make this increasingly difficult, especially in the current gig economy of unstable low-paying service jobs,” said lead author Daniel T. Lichter, PhD, of Cornell University. “Marriage is still based on love, but it also is fundamentally an economic transaction. Many young men today have little to bring to the marriage bargain, especially as young women’s educational levels on average now exceed their male suitors.”' - via
In another survey conducted by a dating service, It's just lunch; 'a total of 75 percent of women said it would be unlikely that they'd date a guy with no job. But within that, 33 percent of women said straight up no they wouldn't date an unemployed guy, but 42 percent of those women said they'd maybe date an unemployed man, but that they wouldn't want to spend much time in the relationship if he didn't have a plan for getting employed in place. Only 21 percent of the women surveyed said they'd be fine with dating an unemployed guy, no stipulations attached.' - via
It's certainly not unreasonable for women to expect their potential partners to be gainfully employed, or at the very least to be working on some projects with the ambition of starting a business or getting employed at a later stage.
But what does a reality where there are a diminishing number of eligible bachelors - because the economy is slow - mean for society into the future?
For one thing, you can expect the fertility rate to drop - meaning that over time you might even expect population decline and a further ageing of the population.
In the near-future however, this might add to the already escalating levels of rage and anger that we see in society, as men fail to find jobs as well as dates - a double whammy of rejection that might fuel more extreme choices when it comes to the perceived resolution of the issue. These are certainly fruitful times for rightwing ideologists.
On the other hand - this research could just be an indiction that the popularity of marriage itself is falling rapidly. These days there are so many other things to occupy your time with than getting a job you don't even really want and ending up married. And the reasons for getting married in the first place have evolved significantly since the 1970's.
Other research also states that the divorce rate in the US is declining because people are getting hitched when they are older and more established - rather than raw dogging it together at an early age like they used to.
Perhaps this is a healthier time for relationships - where all parties are considered equal and get together because of love rather than financial desperation or because it is expected by parents and society.