The New York Times’ data blog, The Upshot, has found that more and more women are keeping their names after marriage. According to a Google Consumer Survey, nearly 20% of women are now choosing to keep their name, with another 10% hyphenating or continuing to use their name professionally.
This is surprisingly the highest the number has been since the 1970s. According to The Upshot, women keeping their name dipped to its lowest numbers in the 1980s, and only made a modest rebound throughout the 1990s.
The Times saw similar numbers in its own wedding announcement section:
A separate analysis of New York Times wedding announcements (which cover a select, less representative share of women) showed similar patterns. Last year, 29.5 percent of women in the wedding pages kept their name, up from 26 percent in 2000 and a recent low of 16.2 percent in 1990.
There are, of course, a variety of reasons that women choose to keep or change their names, and the Times has dutifully reported the familiar “feminism versus traditional” narrative.
Both Google and The Upshot both found that the women least likely to change their names were “older, not religious, have children from a previous marriage or have an advanced degree and established career.”
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