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... Photo for story - Young Irish women earning more than their partners Young Irish women earning more than their partners

17 April 2012

The Economic and Social Research Institute in collaboration with University College Dublin has revealed that women in young couples in Ireland are increasingly likely to earn more money and have a better standard of education than their male partners.
The survey of young couples aged between 26 and 40 years found that:
42% of women had a higher occupational level than their partner Vs 28% of men.
34% of women having a better standard of education than their partner Vs 18% of men.
This verdict is expected to add to growing calls for policymakers to discover ways to increase the availability of flexible working arrangements for both fathers and mothers. Researchers say this would also benefit the economy by lessening the impact of child-rearing on women’s careers.
The report shows that while the family based on marriage is on the decline, it still remains the dominant family unit in Ireland
The report explains two-thirds of all family units are married for the first time. The remaining family structures are dominated by lone mothers, cohabiting couples and couples previously married. Second relationships and step-families remain relatively rare in Ireland .
Out of 1.15 million children living in Ireland :
75% lives with two parents.
18% with a lone parent.
6% with cohabiting parents.
The figures are based on the 2006 census and use statistical techniques to provide a more detailed picture of families than has previously been available.
The results show that cohabiting couples are growing as a family unit and are often seen as a “trial run” before marriage. For example, the likelihood of a couple getting married increases sharply after the birth of a first child.
Overall, cohabiting couples are more likely to be from a lower socio-economic group. For example, a couple in their 30s who both have third-level qualifications are less than half as likely to cohabit as a couple who both have lower second-level qualifications.