The Latest Family Status Symbol: Marriage

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marriageNo one is really getting married any more these days and a sizeable amount of young people aren’t even certain that they want to get married. You can credit this shift in social mores to a variety of factors I suppose, but The New York Times has tracked down the one group that is still upholding the sacred institution of marriage: the wealthy!

Who would have thought that a marriage certificiate and vows would become the latest way to flaunt your family’s status? Don’t tell The Real Housewives‘ franchise but the real way to flash your wealth is by announcing that you’re getting married — plain and simple.

Catherine Rambell writes that some decades ago, wealthy men were only slightly more likely to marry than poorer men. But now, the poorer men are the least likely to marry at all. Women are also more likely to marry if they’re top earners, which has changed from the 1970s. Rambell considers that this shift may have to do with changing attitutes about nannies and help in the household:

It’s not clear why marriage rates for the top-earning women rose. Perhaps the highest-paid female workers in the 1970s achieved that status by forgoing a personal life. And perhaps today it’s more socially acceptable for well-paid women to hire nannies and other household help so that they can maintain a family life, making marriage a more practical possibility.

Nevetherless, dropping your matrimonal status at the playground is offically the new way to brag about your family’s finances. Designer presents and jewelry may be time-honored ways of showing that your partnership is flooded with cash. But no need to have that third kid in the economic recession or add another wing onto the house to prove it. Just announce your engagement.

(photo: Shutterstock)