As a graduate student and postdoc, I remember more of my colleagues becoming single than entering new relationships. In many cases the problem was that their partners could not accept their unusual working hours and low wages. In some others it was the lack of solution to the "two body problem".

So, I am curious if there are compiled statistics related to number of students and postdocs in relationships and with families, number of children, divorces, and comparison to people outside academia.

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    I'm afraid to see the numbers. You should add the category 'married to student/married to advisor'. – HEITZ Jun 29 '16 at 8:08
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    That is a really...funny question. My wife was the associate chair of our department. Now we've both taken our educational abilities and applied them to other lines of work. – Dave Kanter Sep 21 '16 at 17:39
  • Please note the statistics can vary a lot by country. Most of the PhD students I know, mine or not, are not single. Could you please specify the country. – Massimo Ortolano Jan 26 '17 at 19:40
  • @MassimoOrtolano In my case, it was US. – user21264 Jan 26 '17 at 19:42
  • I've added the US tag to better specialize the answers, unless you're interested in a worldwide perspective. – Massimo Ortolano Jan 26 '17 at 19:48

This study has "postsecondary teachers" divorce rate at around 14%, and "Other education, training, and library workers" at 15.6.

For reference, "Computer scientists and systems analysts" were at 15.64.

Both were below "verage US Divorce Percentage" of 16.35.

Most occupations typically associated with financially secure lifestyles (doctors, engineers, CEOs) seem to fall <= 10%.

Most occupations not typically associated with stability or prosperity fell >= 20%.

Predictably, it appears that financial stability, on average, brings an order of magnitude increase in the stability of marriage. So all the girls looking to marry a doctor or lawyer (or engineer??) really do seem to be statistically more likely to live happily ever after ;) Likewise for all the boys looking to marry up.

In my relationship, we went through a total of 3 graduate degrees, for 2 of which we were both in school at the same time.

That definitely helped, as each of us had first-hand experience of living below subsistence level while in grad school. We were able to mitigate the inevitable adverse effect of financial insecurity on a relationship by being understanding and patient with each other; developing judicious spending habits; living below our means; and understanding that, in the long run, a relationship of the kind that we have is more important than a job, a salary, or a lifestyle.

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    "So all the girls looking to marry a doctor or lawyer (or engineer??) really do seem to be statistically more likely to live happily ever after ;)" Hey, this is 2017. Girls can be doctors, lawyers and engineers now, and boys can be looking to marry them. Could you perhaps rewrite this part of your answer? – Pete L. Clark Jan 26 '17 at 18:14
  • Done. Thank you for pointing this out. If you have further suggestions, you are welcome to write your own complete response to the OP. – A.S Jan 26 '17 at 18:45
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    @PeteL.Clark It is well known that girls are not looking to marry an engineer (sorry, as an engineer I couldn't resist :-) ). – Massimo Ortolano Jan 26 '17 at 19:51
  • @MassimoOrtolano Engineers come in different shapes, and while the rank-and-file, Dilbert-type specimens are probably not much of a catch, there are exceptions to every rule; case in point: Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil's CEO (and Trump's pick for Sec of State) began with the company as an engineer, after graduating with a civil engineering degree (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rex_Tillerson). – A.S Feb 5 '17 at 18:11
  • @Aymor I was just kidding, don't take my comment seriously. – Massimo Ortolano Feb 5 '17 at 18:48

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