The “marriage squeeze,” or the effect on marriage of an imbalance between the numbers of males and females, has been seen as having a great influence on contemporary marriage behavior. Nonetheless, the literature does not contain a clear definition of exactly what a marriage squeeze is and contains few quantitative estimates of its impact on marriage. The present article provides a precise definition of the marriage squeeze in equation (2), and applies it to measure both artificially produced marriage squeezes in two-sex nuptiality stable populations and the experience of the United States during the period 1950–1990. The marriage squeeze is shown to be capable of producing significant changes in both the level and distribution of marriage, and it appears to be having such an impact in some contemporary Third World societies. For developed

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