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Does Marriage Help Protect You From Poverty?

July 23, 2012
Plain English Version

The answer is yes. Studies show that families headed by married couples earn more money than other families. Their lives are more stable.

Over the last 30 years, the number of births outside of marriage rose from 17 percent to 41 percent of all births. In the past, minority women were more likely to have children and no husbands. Now, working class white women without husbands are having children as frequently as minority women.

The education of the mother plays an important role. Fewer than 10 percent of  births to college-educated women occur outside marriage. Married couples are having children later than they used to, divorcing less and spending more time parenting.

For women with high school degrees or less, nearly 60 percent of births are outside of  marriage. Children from these families are likely to be poor, to act up in class, to become teen age parents and to drop out of school.

Researchers say married parents are the best way to prevent poverty.

The New York Times

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