Exploring Society By The Numbers

Trends in Marriage Behavior

Amy Guptill, SUNY-Brockport


Students will explore trends in marriage from 1950-2000. The purpose of this assignment is to give some familiarity with how sociologists use datasets to both describe and analyze the social world. Students' task is to use data from the 2000 Census to present trends in marriage behavior in both tabular and graphical form.

Learning Goals

  • Using software to access and analyze census data
  • Identifying independent and dependent variables
  • Employing control variables
  • 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
  • Using real world data to enhance and support key course concepts
  • To discuss trends of marriage

Context for Use

This activity is used in an Introductory Sociology class for undergraduate students. This activity looks at marriage trends and age in the United States over time.

Description and Teaching Materials

Exercises: PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 98kB Mar24 09)
Exercises: DOC (Microsoft Word 75kB Mar24 09)

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity uses one customized data set made from combining census information from 1950-2000. 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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