A new study links marriage with poverty status. Researchers found that marriage is the “strongest factor” in reducing child poverty in the United States. Steep declines in marriage rates and increases households headed by single moms since the 1960s reportedly attributes greatly to the poverty problem.
The new marriage study appears to support Libertarian author Charles Murray’s conclusion that a cultural breakdown in America has substantial consequences. In both his first controversial book, The Bell Curve, and his most recent work, Coming Apart, Murray examines the changes in social dynamics and family structures since the 1960s.
Charles Murray believes that the “founding virtues of civic life” have steadily crumbled, according to the New York Times. The author’s review of demographic statistics regarding the impact of women having children outside of wedlock mirrors the results of the new marriage study. While Murray’s views may be considered very politically incorrect, his findings are largely supported by the statistics cited in the new marriage study.
Over a third of single parent families with children are living in poverty, the Heritage Foundation reports. When children live in a home with married parents, the chances of living in poverty throughout their lives reportedly drops by 82 percent.
The marriage and poverty statistics hold true when comparing non-married families of the same race and educational level. In 2011, the United States government spent about $330 billion on medical care, food, cash assistance, and housing for poor single parents.
A total of 71 percent of poor families live in a single parent home, typically with a mother. The new marriage and poverty study also reports that children living with a single parent are more likely to have behavioral and emotional issues, have school performance problems, smoke, drink, sex drugs, and be physically abused. In 2010, 41 percent of all American children were born out of wedlock.
Do you find the results of the new marriage and poverty study surprising?
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