Lifestyle

'Marrying up' is rare for Brits

The proportion of women "marrying down" has also exceeded those "marrying up" for the first time.
The proportion of women "marrying down" has also exceeded those "marrying up" for the first time. Aleksandar Jaksic Foment

WHEN the middle-class daughter of former flight attendants who counts miners among her ancestors married the second in line to the throne last year, it was hailed as the ultimate breaking down of social class barriers.

Yet Kate Middleton's achievement in "marrying up" to become the Duchess of Cambridge is becoming increasingly rare, with more young British women choosing husbands from their own social class or lower, a new study has found.

Compared with their mothers, women in their twenties are less likely to marry men in a higher social class than their own, research by the IPPR think tank shows.

The authors suggest an entrenchment of social class and widening inequality over the past three decades have driven the phenomenon of "assortative mating", or picking a partner similar to yourself. The proportion of women "marrying down" has also exceeded those "marrying up" for the first time.

Researchers analysed the backgrounds and marriage choices of women born in 1958, 1970 and 1981 to see how female aspirations have changed across the generations. With post-war social mobility on the rise, women born in 1958 were more likely to "marry up" than "marry down". Some 38% of women of this generation chose a partner in a higher social class, while 23% married someone from a lower class. A total of 39% married someone in the same class.

Madonna, who was born in 1958, may be a multimillionaire but has working-class roots and married film director Guy Ritchie, who has noble ancestry.

For those born in 1970, the proportion of women marrying someone in a higher social class fell to 32%, although this was still more than those "marrying down", at 23%. Those marrying someone from the same social class accounted for 45%.

TV personality Zoe Ball, whose father was a TV presenter, chose someone from the same middle-class background as hers when she married Norman Cook, the son of a teacher.

However, today's generation of brides, born between 1976 and 1981, is for the first time more likely to "marry down" than "marry up".

While the majority, 56%, marry in the same class, those choosing a spouse from a lower social class account for 28% while only 16% of women are marrying men from higher social backgrounds.

One women born in 1981 who, it could gently be argued, "married down" is Princess Anne's daughter Zara Phillips, who wed the middle-class rugby player Mike Tindall last year.

Topics:  dating marriage relationships


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Mullumbimby Chamber of Carols by Candlelight

CAROLLERS: Kimberley Waldron from Mullumbimby Newsagents and Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce President Jenelle Stanford.

Mullumbimby Carols by Candlelight is on this Sunday

Kids as young as 9 are becoming drug addicts

PRESSURE: A group of teenagers in the South Burnett are turning to anabolic steroids to achieve their beach body.

Photo Jordan Philp / South Burnett Times

Long term policy needed to break cycle of addiction

Local acts to hit the stage at Falls Byron

Angie Jeann and Merryn Boller watch Falls Director Brandon Saul and GM of Top Shop Aaron Montano strum a few tunes.

Artists from across the Northern rivers set to go on stage

Local Partners

4-month investigation to take down teen 'drug king'

A TEENAGER two weeks out of high school has appeared in court after a three-and-a-half-month police investigation into drug supply resulted in his arrest.

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Local band returns to deliver the music goods

BAND: Louie Swain, Anatole Serret, Noah Hill, Jules Crommelin and Patrick Hetherington.

Playing a homecoming free gig on Thursday in the area

Brunswick Heads set to dance to reggae

RHYTHM: Brisbane five-piece band Kingfisha.

Kingfisha brings their new music

Doco tells the story of Aussie surfboard pioneers

Gordon Woods (far right) in a 1966 ad for his surf shop. He is the subject of a documentary about the Brookvale Mafia airing on Foxtel.

THE Brookvale six were united in the love of their craft.

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper happy as baby looms

Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper are in an "extremely happy place"

Brad Pitt bids to keep custody battle private

Brad Pitt will go to court to keep his custody battle private

Sia has split from her husband

Sia has split from her husband Erik Anders Lang.

Amy Schumer thanks Barbie trolls for hateful comments

Amy Schumer is in the lead role for the new Barbie movie

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!