Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

The decline of marriage

In Uncategorized on July 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

Marriage , and its many ups and downs, still exercises a powerful hold over newspapers, magazines and the airwaves. […] However, Data from the Census Bureau show that married couples, for the first time, now make up less than half (45%) of all households. In every state the numbers of unmarried couples, childless households and single-person households are growing faster than those comprised of married people with children. The latter accounted for 43% of households in 1950; they now account for just 20%. And the trend has a potent class dimension. Traditional marriage has evolved from a near-universal rite to a luxury for the educated and affluent.

                    For richer, for smarter

There barely was a marriage gap in 1960: only four percentage points separated the wedded ways of college and high-school graduates (76% versus 72%). The gap has since widened to 16 percentage points, according to the Pew Research Centre […] The project found that divorce rates for couples with college degrees are only a third as high as for those with a high-school degree. Americans with a high-school degree or less (who account for 58% of the population) tell researchers they would like to marry, but do not believe they can afford it. Instead, they raise children out of wedlock. Only 6% of children born to college-educated mothers were born outside marriage. That compares with 44% of babies born to mothers whose education ended with high school.

     “Less marriage means less income and more poverty”.

Isabel Sawhill and other researchers have linked as much as half of the income inequality in America to changes in family composition: single-parent families (mostly those with a high-school degree or less) are getting poorer while married couples (with educations and dual incomes) are increasingly well-off. “This is a striking gap that is not well understood by the public,” she says.

Extract from an article from the print edition of the Economist : ” The decline of marriage,  The traditional family is now the preserve of a minority” released the 23th June 2011

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