Your career could dictate if you ever get married

A new study reveals social class and income have a huge affect on likelihood of marriage

Upper professional workers are more than twice as likely to get married than unskilled workers, according to a new report.

The study has found that social class and income have a huge affect on whether or not a person will tie the knot.

65.7% of professional workers aged between 18-49 were married at the end of last year, in comparison to 31.8% of those who are deemed to be the least well off.

The percentages of adults married declined rather steadily across the social classes, with one exception. Over half of plant and machinery operatives were married at the end of 2015, despite being ranked as having low incomes.

Those working in sales and customer service roles are the least likely to get married, at just 30.9%.

The ‘Mind the Gap’ study was published by the Iona Institue and draws on data from the CSO’s Quarterly National Household Survey for the fourth quarter of 2015.

The report also indicated that patterns of family life in Ireland increasingly resemble what is happening in other Western countries - rates of marriage are falling, rates cohabitation have increased, and the number of births outside marriage has gone up.

In 2011, 51.4% of adults aged 20 or older were married. This is a decline from 1986 figures, which shows 60% were married.

The numbers of those cohabiting is also increasing. In 1996 there were 31,296 cohabiting couples in the country and by 2011 this had climbed to 143,600 - this amounts to 15.1 % of all couples.

The study also shows the largest decline in the percentages of people who are married has largely taken place in urban areas.

47% of people over the age of 18 living in Cork, Dublin and Galway were married in 2011, in comparison to almost half in 1986. Those living in Cork are also the most likely to have tied the knot.

In rural areas the percentage of married adults is at 58.7%.

The report also notes that marriage breakdown in Ireland is still low by EU standards.