Marriage Squeeze for Highly Educated Women? Gender Differences in Age and Education Assortative Marriage in Urban China

Yue Qian, Ohio State University

Today in urban China, it is common to refer to well-educated women who remain single until their late twenties as “leftover ladies”; however, empirical research has yet to examine the impact of education on marriage formation. This study pools four years of Chinese General Social Survey (2003, 2005, 2006, and 2008) data to investigate gendered marriage patterns by education and age in the early years of the twenty-first century century in urban China. Results show that the marriage rate for university-educated males above 30 is four times that for their female counterparts. Log-linear models indicate that women are more likely to marry men with levels of education similar to or higher than their own. This assortative marriage pattern does not appear to change as women age. The implications of this study are discussed given the imbalanced sex ratio in China and a trend towards delayed marriage and non-marriage in Asia.

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Presented in Poster Session 1