I am very lucky: my high school class has an excellent archivist. So when there was a sudden and unexpected flurry of engagements this year, I was able to request the data.
Here’s what I wanted to know: how many of us are still single?
There were 66 students in my graduating high school class. Of those, 59 are married or engaged. For those who don’t care to reach for their calculator, that’s 89%. Which is to say, 10.6% are still single.
Well, we all know the 10% statistic. So, as a member of the 10% of my high school class, I think I can officially give up.
Yes, I know, it’s a statistic, not a rule. Of course it’s not a rule! I have a friend who is the last in her class still single. Although, granted, at a class size of 15, that may not be a significant variance from 10%. I don’t know – I haven’t got the time to figure it out.
It should probably be disheartening to think that I’m now a statistic. But the truth is, everyone’s a statistic. If you’re not in the 10% single then you’re in the 90% married. Honestly, what’s the difference? We can all be distilled into numbers one way or another.
So I kept adding columns to my spreadsheet. This time I was curious about rate of marriage. Is it sort of bell-shaped, or is there a tail? That’s really what set off my quest in the first place.
As you can see, there’s a slow start, as most of the sample was in Israel, and had a delayed start entering the marriage pool. But those who stayed in New York City lost no time at all in engaging themselves to the local male populace.
Once the Israel-seminarians returned, they too threw themselves into the marriage market, marrying an astonishing 18 of themselves off in the first year alone! This rapid rate of pairing slowed only marginally for the next two years, before dropping precipitously. This may be due to the fact that a grand total of 71% of them were now paired off and busily reproducing themselves. The remaining 29% were slower and more circumspect. However, eventually another 20% of them also found a mate. These pairings were slower, more gradual, and illustrate undramatically on the histogram above.
You may be wondering: yes, there is a rapid marriage rate. But what about the divorce rate?
Well, I reassure you, the class currently stands at zero divorces, which is a rate of 0%.