Marriage is a wealth generating institution. It leads to significant economic benefits for married persons.
- Married people are more productive, have higher incomes, and enjoy more family time than the unmarried. This is due in part to the division and specialization of labor, as spouses each take responsibility for specific tasks. (L Waite and E. Lehrer, The Benefits from Marriage and Religion in the U.S.: A Comparative Analysis, Population and Development Review, Vol 29, No. 2, June 2003, p. 264)
- Married men earn 10-40% more than similar unmarried men. (David Popenoe and Barbara Whitehead, The State of Our Unions 2005, p.16).
- Compared to unmarried women, married women without children have higher incomes while married mothers are less likely to live in poverty. (Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles, Witherspoon Institute, 2006, p.20)
- Divorce and unmarried childbearing are related to increased poverty for children and mothers. When parents fail to marry and stay married, children are more likely to experience deep and persistent poverty. Most children growing up outside of intact married families experience at least one year of dire poverty (family incomes less than half the official poverty threshold). Between one fifth and one third of divorced women end up in poverty. (Why Marriage Matters: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences, Institute for American Values, 2005, p.19, and The State of Our Unions 2006, p.27)