Friday, October 23, 2009

DC Residency and Marriage

Katie Connolly wrote over at The Gaggle an article on why so few DC residents are married.

She cites a rich, white polulation; a poor, black population; and an under-educated demographic as the leading causes of the statistics. Her article was quixotically antagonistic, almost begging for the PR of creating a blogosphere stir.

Oh well, I'll oblige, but not to rabble-rouse.

I disagree with her main points. Rather, I think it has a great deal to do with age and stage. DC is a young, single town while the surrounding countryside teems with families and the elderly. The median age of a DC resident is 34.6, well under the US median of 37.6 (courtesy of the all-knowing Wikipedia). This is for a good reason, the hustle and bustle of a city is sexy and chique, naturally lending itself for young professionals who can afford it. But as you get older you want the finer things in life, by that I mean a house with a plot of land, nice schools, and low crime. So you have to move out of the District to gain these things: Fairfax and Montgomery Counties both have great schools and lower crime than DC does (not to mention lower population density). So a natural age-associated migration occurs which begets this unusual statistic-that DC has a lower marriage rate than the national average.