Same-occupation couples

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

In this post we will explore the ACS PUMS data on working couples. We want to see if certain occupation pairs are more likely to occur than others, while also investigating couples in which both partners share the same occupation. For the analysis we will use five-year data from years 2009-2013.

In this analysis, we consider couples in which both partners specified their occupation while answering the survey. We do not require that they are still in the labor force, so those currently retired or staying at home will also count. This gives us a total of 76 million individuals, with 5 million (or 7 percent) having married a partner from the same occupational field.

Farming, Fishing and Forestry workers have an outstandingly high rate of same-occupation couples. This high percentage may be due to less diversity on the dating scene in agricultural and generally rural areas as opposed to large cities. This even led to the introduction of dedicated dating sites like Farmers Only.

On the chart below you can explore statistics of inter-degree marriages in detail. To exclude a group from the chart you can click on it and it will be added to the Filters. Later you can include it again by switching the filter off, or get rid of filters altogether by clicking the corresponding button.

In a similar fashion to our analysis of same-degree couples, we attempted to find any strong pairs of occupations that are both likely to marry each other. Surprisingly there are no symmetrical links like this! For any occupation that has more than 10 percent or more of respondents married to another single occupation group, that particular second occupation never shows as high opposite interest. This means that such preferences only occur between groups of different order of size.

In this chart we extracted a “heavy” sub-graph of the original diagram, showing the strongest connections (in which more than 15 percent of one occupation prefer the other). Nodes represent occupational groups, with size indicating the number of workers in our scope. Links between nodes show the proportion of 'source' occupation workers married to a person from the 'target' occupation.

We see that everything revolves around the largest occupation group: Office Support occupations. A number of satellite occupations professionals are highly likely to marry them. Only 15 percent of Management and Business professional find their spouse among them, while themselves being a target for Entertainers and Business Operations Specialists.

We conclude that same-occupation couples are frequent in certain fields of work. At the same time, unlike college majors, there are no clear mutual preferences between different occupations. Nevertheless, choosing a certain job may influence your personal life more than you previously thought.

Discuss this article on our forum with over 1,900,000 registered members.

About Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov

Alexander Fishkov, Ph.D. student Computer Science

Alexander is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science. He currently holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Applied Math. He has experience working for industry major companies performing research in the fields of machine learning, data mining and natural language processing. In his free time, Alexander enjoys hiking, Nordic skiing and traveling.

Other posts by Alexander Fishkov:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *