Research Shows Marriage Reduces Childhood Poverty by Two Thirds

Family Research Council May 27, 2011

Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) released a synthesis paper today showing that economic well-being in the United States is strongly related to marriage. The paper, entitled Marriage and Economic Well-Being, shows that married couples are better off economically than persons in any other family structure. The paper reports that only 5.8 percent of married families were living in poverty in 2009.

Of the paper, MARRI Director Pat Fagan, Ph.D., said: “This research clearly documents why marriage is an important and fundamental part of society. Having the security of marriage in which to foster children is vital to reducing reliance on government welfare programs which cost taxpayers at least $112 billion annually. For men, being married proves an economic boon. Married men tend to have more stable employment histories and make, on average, almost 30 percent more than their non-married counterparts. Marriage also affects women and children positively. Married women are less likely to be impoverished, and children from married families have stronger economic mobility as adults. “Despite the disastrous effects of divorce on society, remarriage can have positive economic impacts on broken families. Remarriage tends to increase income and restore some lost wealth. The rate of poverty among children whose mothers remarry after divorce is reduced by 66 percent.
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