10 Ways Your Marital Bliss Depends on Where You Grew Up (PHOTOS)

Maressa Brown | May 18, 2015 Love & Sex

wild west weddingYou may be happily wed for years already, waiting not-so-patiently for your partner to put a ring on it, divorced, or totally indifferent about saying "I do." No matter where you stand personally on marriage, chances are where you grew up has at least a little -- if not a lot -- to do with it, according to a new Upshot analysis of data compiled by a team of Harvard economists.

Here, 10 pretty undeniable findings about your hometown's influence on your marital status.

Which of these facts echoes your life and marital status the most?


Image via iStock.com/urbancow

  • If You Were Born in a Blue State ...


    Spending childhood nearly anywhere in blue America -- aka states/areas that are more inclined to vote Democratic -- makes people about 10 percentage points less likely to marry relative to the rest of the country, according to the study.

  • If You Were Born in a Red State ...


    ... chances are, you're more likely to be encouraged to get hitched. No areas of the U.S. encourage marriage quite like the conservative Mountain West and the Deep South, according to the researchers' findings. In fact, the more strongly a county voted Republican in the 2012 election, the more that growing up there generally encourages marriage.

  • If You Grew Up in a City ...


    ... especially a liberal one -- like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, D.C., Philly, or New Orleans -- you were probably more discouraged from getting married.

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  • If You Grew Up in a Small Town/Rural Area ...


    ... you're more likely to be encouraged to get married. Less densely populated places also seem to promote marriage, even after taking an area’s political leanings into account. (For instance, Iowa and Oregon both encourage marriage and voted Democratic in 2012.)

  • If You Grew Up in Utah, Southern Idaho, and parts of Colorado ...


    ... you grew up in a hotbed of "I do"s! These areas are among the very most likely to encourage marriage, likely due to the high Mormon population. In fact, a childhood in Utah County, home of Brigham Young University and the city of Provo, makes marriage 20 percentage points more likely by age 26 than an average childhood in the U.S.

  • If You Grew Up in D.C. ...


    ... you're the most likely to have been discouraged to walk down the aisle. The jurisdiction boasted the single largest marriage-discouraging effect, notes the study.

  • But If You Grew Up in NYC ...


    ... you probably got an even bleaker take on marriage. Within the analysis' 50 largest counties, the top five in discouraging marriage are all in the New York area. Futher, kids who moved to New York, among other places, were indeed less likely to marry than otherwise similar people who grew up elsewhere. And the younger that children were when they moved to New York, the less likely they were to marry. Ouch.

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  • If You Grew Up in the Deep South ...


    You were probably encouraged to get married -- if you were rich, that is. The area nudges affluent children toward marriage and lower-income children away from it. Yes, race is a factor: Lower-income children in the South are disproportionately black, and marriage rates are also lower among African-Americans. But it also appears to be true that when poor families move to the South, their children become less likely to marry, and there is no evidence that the effect is restricted to only one race.

  • If You Grew Up in the Northeast ...


    ... you're more generally discouraged against marriage -- no matter what your income level.

  • If You Grew Up in the Mountain West ...


    ... you're more encouraged to tie the knot -- no matter how much money your family makes.


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