For the first time in history, women are more educated than men.
A 2017 Brookings study has revealed that women have surpassed their spouses by a whopping 25.3%. Though the spike in education has been significant, women are still falling behind on wages.
The chart also indicates a racial disparity between men who were less educated than their wives, but Brookings said they would post a separate thread on that next week.
“The marriage gap, fueling an income gap.”
According to Wendy Wang, Sociologist and Demographer at University of Maryland who conducted the research, though women are marrying down the educational list, they are “continuing to ‘marry up'” in terms of income.
The study also showed a prominent inconsistency between men and women who have just started their careers at the same time.
On the bright side, there has been a slight increase in wages among women with four-year degrees. The “economic value of education has risen”, according to CNBC, though going to college continues to suck your wallet dry for many years after.
The largest noted problem standing between women and our hard-earned wages? Being wives and moms.
Wang tweeted the statistics of another study yesterday, showing that one of the most important issues facing families was being a parent within a family.
— Wendy Wang (@WendyRWang) November 20, 2017
The report also showed that in 2015, there were only 20% of husbands that had more education than their wives, but 67% of husbands earned more.
“In fact, regardless of how men’s education compares to their wives,’ husbands still end up having an edge on earnings.”
IFS reports that women have less financial gains since the 1990s since women tend to seek a higher standard of living. Due to a lessening of earnings by women, women have less financial advantages over the household compared to men. This is a problem we’ve known has existed for a while, but we have not gotten to the root cause of it.
The Center For American Progress has proven that college degrees don’t help increase income for men or women.
“Across every college sector and level of selectivity, women who received federal aid had lower annual earnings 10 years after entering higher education than the annual earnings of their male peers only six years after entering.”
While reports have shown that men are also “marrying up” from an educational standpoint, a large 74% of adults fall into the category of “assortative mating,” meaning couples share a similar degree. 54% of marriages exist between adults with a shared high school diploma.
On another interesting note, only one in ten marriages are between two college graduates. That’s only 9%. Could it be because graduate students are most likely drowning in debt twice as much as the typical four-year degree?
Though we understand being a mother is what limits us in our career paths, the question we should be asking: Is it because we’re forced to, or is this a natural inclination? Are women the cause of their own problem, or is there a larger force that is holding us back?
Once we get to the root of the cause, it should be easier to figure out our next step to successfully eliminating the gap.