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Department of Demography and Geodemography

Read “Mary L. Baker, 61, Spurned Suitors" (July 14, 1961)
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By Gretchen Morgenson

True love happens in times both good and bad. But when the economy plummets, marriage rates nose-dive as well.

Consider an article in The New York Times dated June 2, 1932, during the depths of the Great Depression, about the decline in marriage license applications. Indeed, even the prospect of winning a black silk top hat wasn’t enough to draw crowds to the license bureau at City Hall, the article proclaimed. By early afternoon on June 1, officials had granted only 22 license applications, roughly half the number of a year earlier.

That those marriage license applications were still declining almost three years after the 1929 stock market crash is a testament to just how profoundly the economic downturn of the 1930s affected Americans. Although the crash was a cataclysmic event that many consider the beginning of the Depression, the worst of the downturn occurred years later.

The day of The Times’s report on marriage license applications, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at around 47, down 88 percent from its peak of 381 on Oct. 3, 1929. About one month after the article appeared, the Dow Jones collapsed to around 41.

Throughout the early 1930s, the government was still devising legislation in response to the improprieties on Wall Street that had emerged. The banking law known as Glass-Steagall, meant to address the conflicts of interest in the banking industry that had harmed so many consumers and small investors, did not pass until 1933.

While readers of The Times may not have realized it, in June 1932, the stock market was about to begin its slow upward reversal. By mid-1934, it had rallied to around 97.

This recovery, although painfully sluggish, was perhaps reflected in a lengthy Times report on June 10, 1934 about bridal traditions. Headlined “ Though the World Changes, the June Bride Is Eternal ,“ the feature compared then-current brides with those of five decades earlier.

And although the report acknowledged the vexing economy and what it meant for brides and grooms, it also conveyed a growing sense of hope among newlyweds.

“Certain young married women are for the first time hunting paying jobs and facing the difficulties attendant on the consequent double task of running a home and an office,” the article said.

Nevertheless, it continued: “Once again, the wedding awnings are up on the avenue, the roads leading to Westchester and Long Island are sprinkled with small cars full of gay young men in tall silk hats, and cream-colored envelopes flood the mails. It is June, and for better or worse, the brides are walking the aisles.”

Read “June Wedding Rush Retarded by Slump" (June 2, 1932)

Using the Census data, we can partially assess the role of incomplete coverage in estimating graduation rates since Census coverage rates are much higher than CPS coverage. A concerted effort is made by the Census Bureau to obtain complete counts of the entire resident population every ten years including the military and institutional populations. As a result, the overall coverage ratio is .98. Sparkle Allure Sparkle Allure Drop Earrings YIuMcI
Census coverage of minorities greatly exceeds that in the CPS data. The coverage ratio for black males and females age 20−29 in the Census data is .91 and .96, respectively. In addition, the inclusion of the incarcerated and military personnel in the Census data further mitigates the potential bias of CPS-based estimates.

To assess the role of undercoverage in biasing CPS-based estimates of high school graduation rates, we compare the educational attainment distributions in the CPS March 2000 demographic supplement with those found in the 2000 Census data for the civilian non-institutional population. 35 The CPS March and Census educational attainment question are essentially the same. Due to the similarity in the sample designs and timeframes, the estimates should be closely aligned in the two surveys. 36

The overall population totals for 20−24 year olds in the civilian non-institutional population are nearly identical in the two data sources. The CPS underestimates those with low educational attainments and more so for minority groups ( Swarovski Lady Hoop Pierced Earrings White Earring bS3GkL
). The CPS overestimates the fraction of high school completers (both GEDs and high school graduates) in the 20- to 24-year-old population relative to the Census and undercounts uncertified dropouts. As a result, the overall completion rate based on the CPS data is nearly 2 percentage points higher than the Census and this difference is even greater for minority groups.

CPS March vs. Census Difference in % of Population Reporting a Given Education Level, Ages 20−24 in 2000

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Notes: Authors’ calculations based on 2000 CPS March and IPUMS data. All calculations are weighted. High school completers include those who earned a GED. Estimated population totals are 17,974,212 in the Census and 17,982,365 in the CPS March.

Computed as the bias from the undercount of dropouts and the exclusion of the institutionalized and military populations in the CPS survey.
Total bias from the undercount of dropouts, the exclusion of the institutionalized and military populations, the inclusion of immigrants and counting GEDs as HS graduates in the status completion rate.

A closer examination of the distributions of educational responses in the two data sources reveals that the data align across all educational categories with the exception of two. 37 The CPS substantially undercounts dropouts who completed 12 th grade, but received no diploma and overestimates the percentage of high school graduates who did not attend college relative to the Census ( Table II ). The difference between the two data sources in the number of dropouts reporting all other grade levels (completing 11 th grade or less) is negligible for all groups with the exception of black males.

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By Emily F. Popek

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As parents, we want our children to be emotionally resilient — able to handle life’s ups and downs. But parents’ ability to foster resilience in our children hinges a great deal on our own emotional resilience.

“A parent’s resilience serves as a template for a child to see how to deal with challenges, how to understand their own emotions,” said Dr. Dan Siegel, author of “The Yes Brain,” which focuses on cultivating children’s resilience.

Yet for many parents, taking the temper tantrums and meltdowns in stride presents a challenge — especially if we have unrealistic expectations of what childhood is really all about.

“Part of it is this idea that we have that parenthood should be this amazing, blissful, perfect culmination of our hopes and dreams,” said Katherine Reynolds Lewis, author of the forthcoming book “The Good News About Bad Behavior.”


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