The New York Times Wedding Database From RapGenius Chronicles The Decline Of WASP Culture


RapGenius, wouldn’t ya know it, has created one the year’s most fascinating statistical studies of culture and media: The database contains over 60,000 New York Times wedding announcements from the past 32 years, allowing users to measure the frequency of specific words and phrases throughout the decades.

The implication is that The New York Times –– the bastion of everything elite, well-educated and WASPy– is a bellwether for the shifting tectonics of race and class in America.

The RapGenius blog has a fairly in-depth post with some of the more fascinating findings, which include:

  • In the early 1990s, a 25-year-old was four times as likely as a 35-year-old to feature a wedding announcement in the Times. In 2013, you’re slightly more likely to see a 35-year-old…check out the GIF below.


  • Sightings of WASP weddings are increasingly rare, based on declining mention of boarding schools (Exeter, Andover, Deerfield, Choate Rosemary, etc.), Fairfield County, and name suffixes of “III.” Most damning of all, mentions of Episcopalians have dropped 150% in the past 32 years.
  • The East Asian power class has exploded, based on the sharp increase of “Hindu” mentions from 0% frequency to 0.0125%; this is consistent with the fact that NYC’s Indian population increased 118% between 1990 and 2000.
  • The Ivy League has remained steady over the years, with Columbia grabbing the most representation and Dartmouth seeing the least (this is before adjusting for student populations, though)
  • Tribeca is still the hippest neighborhood to get married in (see chart below)!