Finally, a report that supports what I’ve been saying for awhile now.
Many will disparage the report because Robert Rector is senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank. Marriage is not the only anti-poverty remedy. But as Rector points out these fathers are income-earning men who would better serve their children by marrying their mothers. A two-parent household is still a better environment for children, families and society. Children are less likely to live in poverty and more likely to learn the value of a monogamous relationship.
Robert Rector writes in the NY Daily News,
The fact is, the child poverty rate — one in five children, we’re told — was high before the recession and will remain so after it ends. And the most important cause of childhood poverty is the continuing collapse of marriage, including a dramatic rise in births to single women.
In New York state, for example, more than seven of every 10 poor families with children are headed by a single parent, most of them mothers.
Only about 7% of married couples with children in New York were poor in 2009, compared with over one-third of the single-parent families (36%). In New York, marriage drops the probability of a child’s living in poverty by 81%.
Such state numbers on marriage and poverty mirror the national ones. Ignoring the positive impact of marriage on children isn’t just unwise. It’s tragic.
In 2010, four of every 10 children born in New York were born outside marriage. Sadly, the women most likely to have children without being married are those with the least ability to support children financially on their own. More than two-thirds of births to women who are high school dropouts occur outside marriage. Among women who are college graduates, only 11% of births are out of wedlock.
America is splitting into two economic castes: In the top, children are raised by married couples with a college education. In the bottom, children are raised by single mothers with a high school diploma or less.
Remember this the next time someone tries to portray poverty as a purely economic phenomenon that tax policy, education and job training can solve.
If our political leaders, like Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo, promoted marriage with the same vigor as they push acceptance of same-sex marriage, children would be lifted out of poverty sooner.
Read more — Wedding rings vs. child poverty – NY Daily News.
Read his report, “Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty.”