Exploring Society By The Numbers

Marriage and Divorce

Kofi Benefo, CUNY-Lehman


This activity provides a look at marriage and divorce among different race/ethnicity, ages, education and income levels over time.

Learning Goals

  • Using software to access and analyze census data
  • Identifying independent and dependent variables
  • Employing control variables
  • Forming testable hypotheses using quantitative data
  • Learning how to construct, read, and interpret bivariate tables displaying frequencies and percentages
  • Creating visual tools representing quantitative data in the form of charts or graphs
  • Identifying population trends over time
  • Translating data findings to inform decision making
To assess:
  • Marital trends over time
  • Martial Choices using variables of age, race and education

Context for Use

This activity is used in a sociology class for undergraduate students. This activity explores topics of race/ethnicity, gender and income to look at marital and divorce patterns in the United States.

Description and Teaching Materials

Exercises: PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 89kB Mar24 09)
Exercises: DOC (Microsoft Word 71kB Mar24 09)

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity uses ten customized data sets; two made from census trend data combining census information from 1950-2000 and seven from the 2000 Census. It guides students through data manipulation using WebCHIP software found at DataCounts!. To open WebCHIP with the dataset for the activity, please see instructions and links in the exercise documents under teaching materials. For more information on how to use WebCHIP, see the How To section on DataCounts!


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References and Resources

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