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Marrying up or marry down?

For Asian Americans to discuss Asian American issues and topics.

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Marrying up or marry down?

Postby momopi » Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:03 pm

Last weekend, I went out with some friends and had an interesting conversation with my HS buddy's new GF. She's about my age (mid 30's), tall (5'9"-5'10"), slim, educated, never been married, and doing her residency to become a doctor.

She isn't someone you'd call a "hot babe", just a tall skinny girl with average looks. But she's a pretty nice person and will be a doctor very soon. She attended college in China, Japan, and US and speaks all 3 languages fluently. Quite a catch.

However, she complained to me that she and many of her friends had great difficulty finding a husband in/from China. Most of her friends are highly educated with PhD's and as soon as the guy hears about the education level, they run away. Her current BF (my buddy) is from Burma, and 1 of her friend gave up trying to find a Chinese husband and started dating a doctor from India.

Traditionally, we have a socio-economic trend where women tend to marry up, and men felt threatened if they married someone who was of higher status. Let's have a look at the US Census data:

http://www.census.gov/population/www/so ... s2006.html

Click on Table A1, "Asian alone" .XLS spreadsheet, then scroll down to row 348, showing females who made $100,000 and over. We find the following age groups and % that have never been married:

Age 30-34 : 25.9%
Age 35-39 : 23.6%

I'm skipping data from the 20's, because those are probably "silver spoon" types and not what we're looking for.


Now compare to row 300, Asian females with annual income of $25,000 to $40,000:

Age 30-34 : 24.8%
Age 35-39 : 9.2%


What do these numbers tell us? For single Asian women who are working professionals (earning 100k+) in their mid 30's, roughly 1 in 4 have never been married. In comparison, those working at jobs that paid median personal (note household) income, only 1 in 10 have never been married in their mid 30's.


Now let's look at stats for men. Look at row 198, Asian men with personal income of 100k+, never married:

Age 30-34: 21.5%
Age 35-39: 12.9%

Compare to row 141, Asian men with personal income of 25k-40k, never married:

Age 30-34: 38.7%
Age 35-39: 27.9%


We can see a clear inverse relationship between male to female's marriage statistics here. For Asian men in mid to late 30's earing 100k+, only 1 in 8 have never married. But for those earing 25k-40k, more than 1 in 4 have never been married.

The numbers presented here shows that it's easier for a male professional to find a spouse, than a female one. An AA male professional in mid to late 30's has 87.1% probability of having been married, versus an AA female professional in same category only has 76.4% probability of having been married.

"But where do Asian women make $100k+? That's ridiculous and only the very few doctors and lawyers make that much", you might say.

Actually, lawyers don't make as much as you might think. See here:
http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job ... yer/Salary

On average, a lawyer has to have 10 years working experience to get 100k pay. On year #1 the going rate is $57k-$64k.

In comparison, the pharmacist lady working at your local CVS or Wallgreens is pulling $80k+ on year #1:
http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job ... ist/Salary


There are many other jobs out there where the person is probably earning more than what you think. And for the highly educated working AF professionals, 1 out of 4 in their mid 30's are single and having difficulty finding a husband. Many are socially awkward because they were bookworms in their younger years and have fewer experience in dating and relationships.

AM's definitely should not exclude these women when trying to find a spouse. Don't think just because they're better educated, that they're out of reach or better than you at everything. Chances are, where love and relationships are concerned, you (the AM) will have to take the lead!
momopi
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