Abstract: Child poverty is an ongoing national concern, but few are aware that its principal cause is the absence of married fathers in the home. Marriage remains America’s strongest anti-poverty weapon, yet it continues to decline. As husbands disappear from the home, poverty and welfare dependence will increase, and children and parents will suffer as a result. Since marital decline drives up child poverty and welfare dependence, and since the poor aspire to healthy marriage but lack the norms, understanding, and skills to achieve it, it is reasonable for government to take active steps to strengthen marriage. Just as government discourages youth from dropping out of school, it should provide information that will help people to form and maintain healthy marriages and delay childbearing until they are married and economically stable. In particular, clarifying the severe shortcomings of the “child first, marriage later” philosophy to potential parents in lower-income communities should be a priority. Read more....
Marriage is the Strongest Factor in Reducing Child Poverty in the U.S.
Over a third of single-parent families with children are poor, compared to only seven percent of married families. Overall, children in married families are 82 percent less likely to be poor than are children of single parents. The strong impact of marriage in reducing poverty still appears when married and non-married families of the same race and education level are compared.