Why Do Massachusetts Spouses Change Their Name After Marriage

by | May 13, 2024 | Divorce |

The decision to change one’s last name after a wedding is no longer one made lightly, especially considering everything that has to be updated, including Social Security, passports, bank accounts and insurance.

However, in the U.S., the tradition of taking the husband’s last name is still quite common, according to a survey published by the Pew Research Center.

The study surveyed 2,437 U.S. adults in opposite-sex marriages and 955 who had never been married to ask what their choice was or would be.

The study was part of a larger survey conducted April 10-16 consisting of over 5,000 U.S. adults. A random sampling of residential addresses was used to ensure nearly all U.S. adults had a chance to be selected, Pew said.

How many women change their last name after marriage?

Of women in opposite-sex marriages, 79% said they took their husband’s last name after they tied the knot, while 14% kept their own and 5% decided to hyphenate both names, according to the Pew Research study.

However, the survey showed more mixed views on the subject among women who had never been married: 33% said they would take their spouse’s last name while 23% would keep their own. As for the rest, 17% of women said they would hyphenate their own last name with their spouse’s and 24% remained unsure on what they would do.

How many men change their last name after marriage?

Most married men – 92% – kept their own last names, while 5% changed their last names to their wife’s and less than 1% hyphenated the two, the survey showed.

Among unmarried men, 73% said they would keep their own last name and 2% said they would take their spouse’s name, according to the study. Four percent said they would hyphenate the two names, while 20% said they were undecided.

What demographics of women change their last name after marriage?

The women who decide to keep their own last name after an opposite-sex marriage include those who are younger, Hispanic, Democrats, or have completed a postgraduate degree, according to the survey.

20% of married women between the ages of 18 to 49 said they would keep their own while only 9% of those 50 and older would.

30% of married Hispanic women said they kept their own last name while 10% of white women and 9% of Black women did. Black women are more likely to hyphenate their name with their spouses’ than white women. The survey said it could not gather enough data from Asian women in the sample to analyze separately.

20% of married women who are Democrats or lean Democratic are twice as likely than the 10% of Republican and Republican-leaning women to answer that they wouldn’t change their last name. Moderates in either political party are about just as likely to say they’d keep their own.

26% of married women who achieved a postgraduate degree said they kept their last name while 13% of those with only a bachelor’s degree and 11% of those with some college or less education would.

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