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Researchers Find Marriage Increases Economic Status, Married Men Make 19 Percent More

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By Myles Collier, Christian Post Contributor
July 20, 2012|4:30 pm

Conservatives have long stated that married families contribute to healthy societal life, but now more and more researchers are providing empirical evidence to support that claim.

There are numerous studies available that suggest that married families not only offer a stable environment to raise children, but also place families in a better position to move up the economic ladder.

Studies point to the rapidly rising rates of single parenthood as one of the causes for the ever widening income gap. Some experts have pegged these new trends for being responsible for anywhere between 10 and 40 percent of that growing margin.

Family marriage and childbirth rates place families on "different trajectories," according to Mindy Scott, a demographer with the research center Child Trends.

"It is the privileged Americans who are marrying, and marrying helps them stay privileged," Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist based at Johns Hopkins University, explained.

Married men "enjoy an income premium of about 19 percent in the United States compared to their similarly credentialed peers," Dr. W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, told The New York Times.

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"Men who get married and stay married tend to be better workers … They work harder; they work longer hours; they work more strategically; and as a consequence, they tend to earn more money." Wilcox explained during a lecture at Acton University, hosted by the Acton Institute in June.

But it is not just men that see the positive results of work and married life women also see an increase in terms of net worth.

"Women who get and stay married by the end of their lives have a lot more in the way of assets – whether it's a home or some kind of retirement account," Wilcox said.

The unfortunate reality is that the marriage rate is declining and more children are born to single mothers, making tough circumstances on those mothers even harder.

According to researchers 41 percent of births that take place in America are out-of-wedlock, and the rate of children being born to single mothers has tripled since 1990.

 

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