ERIC Number: ED464968
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr-15
The Effect of Marriage on Child Poverty.
Rector, Robert; Johnson, Kirk A.; Fagan, Patrick F.
This report examines what share of the current level of child poverty in the United States can be attributed to the growth of single parenthood since the 1960s, focusing on what the child poverty rate would be today if single parent families had remained at the levels that existed before the beginning of the war on poverty. Researchers simulated the effects of higher marriage rates using data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census for the year 2000. They matched a portion of single parents with potential spouses who were identical in age, race, and educational level, then hypothetically joined these couples into one household and determined whether they would be poor based on the couple's combined income. Results found that the decline of marriage since the 1960s has been a substantial factor behind the current high levels of child poverty. Child poverty would be nearly a third lower today if the traditional two-parent family had not deteriorated over the past 3 decades. The results show that when poor single mothers are married to single men of similar age, race, and education, their marriage lifts the family out of poverty in about 80 percent of the cases. (Contains eight tables and two charts.) (SM)
Descriptors: Child Welfare, Children, Family Income, Family Status, Marital Status, Marriage, One Parent Family, Poverty
Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20002-4999. Tel: 202-546-4400; Fax: 202-546-8328; Web site: http://www.heritage.org/search/.
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC. Center for Data Analysis.
Note: A Report of the Heritage Center for Data Analysis.