Back in the dark ages when I was in engineering school, there was a common perception that engineers were mostly likely to marry nurses. Thanks to work by a couple of Bloomberg Business writers, we can now test that assertion. They scanned data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey — which covers 3.5 million households — to find out who tends to marry who, occupation-wise.
The interactive chart they came up with highlights the five most common occupation/relationship matchups for a selected occupation using a heat-chart idea where the thickness of the connection and its color signifies the likelihood of occurrence. (For example, male firefighters most often marry female nurses, while female nurses most often marry managers.) Same-sex occupation/relationship matchups weren’t common enough to reach the top five in any occupation. So the chart also highlights the top male-male and female-female job matchups for each occupation.
So according to the Bloomberg writers, the old saw about engineers and nurses is true — for mechanical engineers. Trailing this relationship are match-ups between MEs and managers, administrative assistants, teachers, accountants, and waitresses.
But electrical engineers are much more likely to wind up with elementary and middle school teachers. EEs are also unlikely to tie the knot with waiters and waitresses. There is still some likelihood they’ll pair up with nurses, managers, admin assistants, and accountants. But also making the list is landscaping and groundkeeping supervisors.
We’ve reproduced the charts that pop up with these results, but you can research these matters of the heart yourself at the Bloomberg page.