marriage

marriage

Census Report on Marriage Trends

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The most beneficial family structure is that of the intact family. This structure, however, is declining in practice for many Americans. The Census Bureau recently released data on marriage taken from the 2008-2012 American Community Survey. The findings revealed that between the year 1996 and 2008-2012 there has been an increase in individuals choosing to never marry and an increase in remarriages among women. Simultaneously there has been a decrease in individuals who are married only once.

The percent of females getting married once between 1996 and 2008-2012 decreased from 60 percent to 54 percent. During the same time those who had never married increased from 24 percent to 28 percent. Finally, women who had been married twice (remarried once) grew from 13 percent to 14 percent.

These trends are also found in men. Between 1996 and 2008-2012 the proportion of men who were only married once decreased from 54 percent to 50 percent. Men who had never married increased from 31 percent to 34 percent.

In summary there is a notable downturn in the number of people choosing to create intact married families. Neither remarriage nor choosing not to marry allows for the plethora of benefits that come from an intact married family. Children from intact married families have less behavioral problems, better social development, better education, better child-parent relationships, and less criminal activity. For adults, the benefits of an intact marriage include: sexual satisfaction, incomehealth and many others. Given what is now well known about the benefits of intact marriage for adults and children these developments predict an even weaker American population as the adults age and the children reach a more stunted maturity… the America of the future.

The Marriage Divide

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Forget class and race; the real cultural divide lies in marriage.

Increasingly, those who marry are among the best educated, the wealthiest, the healthiest, and the most religious in society. Marriage fosters economic security and educational attainment (two key determinants of social class), and prepares children for their future romantic relationships. Marriage is also a good attainable by people of all races, social classes, and religious creeds. It seems odd, then, that such an accessible and stable institution could possibly give rise to inequality.

The problem is, marriage and sexual mores are idealized and pursued disproportionately in society. In his 2012 book, Coming Apart, Charles Murray concludes that upper-class whites have held steadfast to America’s founding virtues while middle-class and poor whites have largely abandoned these core principles. Because individuals tend to self-select communities and relationships with like-minded people, the sociocultural divide between those who marry and those who do not has compounded with each new generation. 

Recently released publications from the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI), “The Index of Belonging and Rejection” and “The State of the Black Family,” confirms that Murray’s thesis applies to the black community as well. There are two phenomena at work: the adversities of broken, non-married families are  exacerbated with each  generation, and the gap between the married and  the non-married increases in education, wealth, health, and religion. The marriage divide is particularly big in the black community because marriage has been retained and celebrated by its most educated and avoided by its least educated—a trend that has grown worse over the decades. Between 1950 and 2012, the fraction of black 15 to 17 year olds raised in by their always-married parents dropped from 38 percent to 17 percent.  Even more alarming, between 1950 and 2012 the number of black two year olds with always-married parents was cut in half (from 62 percent to 30 percent). In laymen’s terms, only 30 percent of black children begin their life with their married parents; only 30 percent of young black children experience the security and belonging of an intact family, while 70 percent experience their parents rejection of each other, which leads to the brokenness of a non-intact family.

MARRI research also shows that those in intact families outperform their counterparts on social outcome measures. For both black men and women aged 35-40, the highest fraction of professional graduates were raised by married parents, whereas the highest number of high school drop-outs were raised by an always-single parent. Black men, women, teenagers, and children who were raised in always-single households had the highest rate of poverty of all family structures. Always single black men and women, as well as children raised by such parents, receive the greatest proportion of government aid, including: SSI, SSDI, TANF, Welfare, and Food Stamps.

Increasing marriage across all social strata is a prerequisite for reducing poverty and inequality in America.

The Black Family: America’s Opportunity

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“America is free to choose whether the Negro shall remain her liability or become her opportunity.” –Gunnar Myrda, An American Dilemma (1944)

Exactly fifty years ago Daniel Patrick Moynihan published his prophetic report, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.” In 1965 when the report was written, Moynihan warned that the black family was in crisis: 23.6 percent of blacks were born illegitimately (1963), 21 percent of non-white families had female heads-of-household, and only a minority of black children reached age 18 having always lived with their married parents. But the state of the black family in America today surpasses Moynihan’s worst fears: 72.2 percent of blacks are born out-of-wedlock, 50 percent of black children live with their mother only, and only 17 percent of black children reach adulthood having always lived with married parents.

The racial dynamic of America in 2012 is now most complex. One Civil War, three Constitutional Amendments, hundreds of legislative/ juridical decisions, and thousands of protests later, and African Americans still rate disproportionately low on a number of social outcome measures.

Unable to explain this phenomenon otherwise, many have blamed a covert but pervasive racism in America. Although this may be true for some perverted individuals, it is not the case of the majority of Americans. There is a different and powerful culprit at work.    

By common sense the straightforward way to eliminate an adverse outcome is to mitigate its cause; otherwise, one is only providing temporary treatment rather than a permanent solution. Black social ills have been temporarily treated rather than permanently resolved. During the horrible days of the slave trade, black families were ripped apart—fathers were taken from their children, and wives were left to run households. Blacks still do not have informal equality of opportunity because the broken black family—the real root problem of their social ills—has yet to heal. Relief programs like affirmative action are insufficient solutions because blacks are neither less intelligent nor less capable of working than whites, Hispanics, Asians, or any other race. Rather, many black children are never given the opportunity to fully harness their potential because they suffer the rejection of a broken family and its attendant misfortunates. The real relief the black community needs is an immediate and radical resurgence of intact marriage and all that is necessary to achieve that.

The importance of family structure is underlined in two recent publications released by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI): “The State of the Black Family in America” and “The Index of Belonging and Rejection.” For both black men and women (aged 35 to 40), the highest number of high school drop-outs were always-single, while the highest number of professional graduates were married. Black men, women, teenagers, and children who were raised in always-single households had the highest rate of poverty of all family structures. Correspondingly, 61 percent of black females and 51 percent of black males receiving TANF or welfare are in always-single families, and 49 percent of black children whose household receives food stamps were being raised by an always-single parent. Currently, only 17 percent of black 15- to 17-year-olds on the cusp of adulthood have been raised by always-married-parents since birth.

The state of the African American family explains why racial gaps have, in a sense, widened even though formal discrimination has ended. The government depends on the intact family to achieve its goals, but the intact black family is close to absent, except among highly educated blacks. According to the Fifth Annual Index of Belonging, the number of black teens (15- to 17-years-old) that grew up in intact families dropped from 38 percent in 1950 to 17 percent in 2012. In other words, 21 percent fewer teens have the security of a stable, intact family.

Given this disintegration of the black family, it is no wonder that blacks rank disproportionately low on a number of “ordinary good-life” outcomes. The pernicious effects of family rejection have been compounded across generations and seep into the wider community and its ethos. Children of broken families are more likely to pass their problems on to their own children, and, overtime these adverse outcomes spill over into society at large.

Despite the failure of social policy, there is a solution to this vicious cycle: the Black Church. African Americans are among the most frequent church-goers. Recently, however, many churches have become lackadaisical in promulgating Christ’s teachings on chastity and marriage. Social policy has proven useless in correcting the ills of family rejection and brokenness, but the Church certainly can if it has the will. A deep conversion and close following of Christ and His teaching on purity, family values, brotherly love, and communal service are the key ingredients to raising the black family to its rightful integrity. In turn, the black community can then hold the rest of America to this new standard. This is the exemplary role of the black community, and the leadership opportunity that beckons the Black Church.


Support Marriage- Promote Women’s Health

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Adding to the discussion on women’s health, a recent survey reported that 40.2 percent of women – compared to 29.5 percent of men – reported an unmet medical need due to costs within the last year (*note, however, this is a biased figure and the disparity is actually lower). There is much speculation on the causes for this disproportionate need of women, but identifying a driver is quite simple: the deterioration of marriage. Marriage lifts women out of poverty. Divorce and cohabitation keep women in poverty.

Marriage provides a number of (intuitive) economic benefits to women. Married women share income with their husbands, and are able to optimize the division of labor for a household. Married couples enjoy, on average, larger incomes, greater net worth, and greater year-to-year net worth growth. Not surprisingly, marriage raises the long-run family income of children born to single parents by 45 percent.

Divorce does the opposite. Divorce causes women to disproportionately bear the brunt of poverty. Family income falls by 41 percent and family food consumption falls by 18 percent in the year following a divorce. Divorce is the main factor in determining the length of “poverty spells,” particularly for women whose pre-divorce family income was in the bottom half of the income distribution.

Although it might seem that cohabitation can provide the same economic benefits as marriage, it in fact cannot truly alleviate the feminization of poverty.  Cohabitation is temporary (with a roughly 50% failure rate), and the men in cohabitation are less attached to the labor market than married men. Cohabiters share fewer resources, since their bonds are less assured. Cohabitation, therefore, lacks all the natural gains of marriage (security, labor market benefits such as insurance, and the pooling of resources). Preferring cohabitation over marriage in our policies means preferring a modality of life that cannot deliver the benefits to women’s health coverage that marriage can.

If we want to promote women’s health, we really must discourage divorce and cohabitation. and encourage marriage.  Studies have already shown that married women rate their health better than divorced, separated, widowed, and never-married women do. Married women’s ability to cover their medical costs is one of the many reasons why. 

*According to the Urban Institute: “Questions on unmet need for contraceptive prescriptions or other family planning services were only asked of female respondents. Respondents may report an unmet need because of cost for more than one type of service, so sums may exceed the share reporting any unmet need because of cost.”

Wonk Wong

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By Henry Potrykus

The Washington Post recently posed the question of how we should react to the “unbelievable” finding that marriage is dissolving and single parenthood is rising in America.  The Post makes “clear:” “none of the findings [on which it relies] mean that children would necessarily be better off if their biological parents married.”

From that point of clarity, the Post (and the researchers on whom it relies) goes on to advocate that for the sake of postponing motherhood, more educational and career opportunities must be created for lower-educated women.  This, says the Post, should go along with the rather broad policy of improving the economic prospects of “suitable partners” those women are “searching for.”

First off, it’s downright un-American to be against more education.  This we must all stand for, even if a degree does not confer human capital as we expect (human capital: the skills, capacities, and know-how of value in the labor market), and even if the newly minted grads simply end up part-time baristas with a fat bill to pay.  So, for this rebuttal, let me put the policy aside.  Soundly critiquing such policies requires a more thorough examination of economic sociology.

Here, let me rebut the Post’s logic.  The Post is wrong when it says two sociologists’ work – the statistics of McLanahan and Jenks – mean the problem of non-marriage demands a solution “far beyond marriage.”

Now, the Post relies on work by McLanahan and Jenks, who caveated their findings:  Recall the laden term “necessarily” quoted above.

The real issue is what do statistics say for policy, and, specifically, what does research on marriage in America say for policy? 

Here’s the easy part: statistics are about the general – usually average – case.  So of course they don’t speak to something necessarily affecting any given individual.  They speak to what generally happens.  Governance is also best construed around the general, so statistics do have a use there.

Here’s the harder part, which is about the methodologies employed by researchers nowadays.  That is, it’s about science:  Researchers have more or less three classes of tools to study a phenomenon like marriage.  One is descriptive statistics, the second is called regression, and the third are – sometime occult – analyses of “natural” experiments.

Let’s put aside descriptive statistics (even though the work of McLanahan and Jenks has many nice figures); work by McLanahan and Jenks and other sociologists should be considered at par when they involve so-called multiple regression analysis.  These analyses show the simultaneous influence of different factors on some outcome.  Informally, if you say a group’s workforce participation level (a pro-social activity of interest to the Post and McLanahan and Jenks) is to be found irrespective of that group’s proclivity to be married you contradict this second type of analysis.  These analyses say that marriage influences partners’ workforce participation.

Of course, we are not interested in whether marriage and working are merely correlated.  Maybe only the guys already with jobs get the girls (in marriage of course).

This is where the hard part comes to a head:  Sophisticated analyses of the third type can show that the dissolution of marriage actually does affect behaviors and prospects, and does affect the outcomes of the children the Post wants helped.  Sophisticated analyses do uncover a positive effect of marriage on social outcomes.  These analyses confirm the more basic, second kind of analyses.

Let me reiterate that: The workhorse, more basic analyses of sociology tend not to be wrong-headed.  In fact, good analysis of the second type does point to causal relations.  It is just not in itself completely conclusive.  It nevertheless tends to align correctly – and even quantitatively – with the much more difficultly arrived-at causal analyses.  (There are reasons for this.)

We are at the end of the critique of the Post’s logic:  Children in general would be better off if their biological parents married.  Just because sociology’s baseline method (regression) is not totally conclusive, one cannot infer that that method shows things that are not there.  Saying “this fact is uncertainly arrived at, so it is false” is a bad inference!  (Marriage is important to social outcomes even if all that science we fund through NSF grants shows it!)

Even without delving deeper into the science, we can nonetheless conclude that the Post cannot make the inference it wants: none of this body of evidence means the problem of non-marriage demands a solution “far beyond” marriage itself. 

Quite the contrary: Solutions are found within marriage.  Sophisticated studies indicate marriage causes positive behavior changes that are [very] difficult to affect otherwise. 

The good analyses of the second type which line up with the causal studies show the same.  If the Post wants the economic prospects of “suitable partners” to improve, I suggest it stop looking “far beyond” an empirically proven means of doing so.

To close, I want to confess my own befuddlement in the Post’s choosing to call the last few decades’ flight from marriage “unbelievable.”  The calamity follows on the heels of the sexual revolution.  According to the Post, one behavior doesn’t beget another?  No, we should be about as bewildered by this – yes, seismic  – shift away from marriage as we would be in observing people buying more bananas once the price of bananas falls. 

And that elementary point should be what we pivot on to get back to good policy.

Remember to Thank God for your Family

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At the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims and Native Americans came together to thank God for the abundant blessings bestowed upon them, especially for their families. Unfortunately today, though family still remains, God is being pushed out some by Black Friday sales and other materialistic frenzies. But as the bedrock of society that best cultivates future generations, the intact married family that worships God weekly cannot be forgotten—it was and is one of the most important things we all have to be grateful for. 
Although most Thanksgiving festivities are winding to a close, the intact married family produces a number of benefits for individuals and society, and should be celebrated everyday of the year. MARRI has consolidated 20 social science reasons to give thanks to God for your married family:

  1. Men raised in married families have more open, affectionate, and cooperative relationships with the women to whom they are attracted than do those from divorced families.  
  2. Families with either biological or adoptive parents present have the highest quality of parent-child relationships.
  3. Married men and women report having more enjoyable sexual intercourse more often.
  4. Those from married families are less likely to see religion decline in importance in their lives, less likely to begin attending church less frequently and less likely to disassociate themselves from their religious affiliation.
  5. Children of married parents are more engaged in school than children from all other family structures.
  6. Children in intact married families have the highest combined English and math grade point averages (GPAs.)
  7. Adolescents from intact married families are less frequently suspended, expelled, or delinquent, and less frequently experience school problems than children from other family structures.
  8. Men’s productivity increases by 26 percent as a result of marrying.
  9. Intact married families have the largest annual income of all family structures with children under 18.
  10. Married couples are less likely to receive welfare.
  11. Married men are less likely to commit crimes.
  12. Marriage is associated with lower rates of domestic violence and abuse, compared to cohabitation.
  13. Married women are healthier than never-married, divorced, and separated women.
  14. Married men and women are more likely to have health insurance.
  15. Married men and women have higher survival rates after being diagnosed with cancer, regardless of the stage of the cancer’s progression.
  16. Married people have lower mortality rates, including lower risk of death from accidents, disease, and self-inflicted injuries and suicide.
  17. Married people are least likely to have mental disorders.
  18. A larger fraction of those raised in an intact family consider themselves “very happy” than those raised in non-intact families.
  19. Married parents spend more on education and less on alcohol and tobacco as compared to cohabiting parents.
  20. Married mothers enjoy greater psychological well-being and greater love and intimacy than cohabiting or single mothers.
 

Humanum Series Celebrates Young Marriage Activists

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Liberal propagandists claim that traditional marriage, sexual fidelity, and family values are antiquated ideas; however, a rising generation of activists is quickly debunking this myth. In “Challenge and Hope for a New Generation,” the fifth segment of the Humanum Series launched at the International Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman, a group of young adults assess the state of marriage worldwide. It is true that marriage is in crisis, but it is false that there is a lack of desire for marriage. Young people thirst for marriage—they long for its stability, its loyalty, and its love. According to Malcolm Rivers, a 27-year old teacher in D.C., the problem is that “we are deeply and woefully underprepared for marriage.”
Malcom is right on target. Radical feminists have inculcated licentious mores in “sexual health” classes, and taught that casual hookups are a natural way to fulfill sexual desires. This idea, that the sexual act is nothing but a means to fulfilling an individual’s pleasures, has altered the dynamic between a romantic couple. Although once a single unit in which each complemented the other in order to elevate the whole, now a couple is nothing but two individuals using each other to extract physical pleasure. This dooms relationships to failure. “Permanence requires me to do things for other people. I can’t have a permanent relationship with somebody if I’m only worried about myself” Malcom said. Nobody wants to enter into a permanent relationship knowing that the other person is only in it to gratify his/ her own needs.
Young marriage supporters from Mexico to France to Lebanon agree. Alix Rokvam, a founder of Les Veilleure in France, stated, “We all had sex education in school, but we never had romantic education, which encompasses all aspects of sexuality, not just the technique.” A group of young ladies in Lebanon reminisced on the days when “People used to support each other more.” Worldwide, young people are yearning for relationships built on complementary teamwork rather than competition. The problem is that few know how to achieve this dream.
In his Tuesday presentation, Rev. Dr. Rick Warren offered some practical advice on how we can prepare more people for stable marriages: celebrate healthy marriages. We must offer an appealing alternative to the hookup culture by giving people the confidence that their marriage can last, and we must show that the sexual act should be rooted in a selfless love between husband and wife. This advice is scientifically supported. For example, MARRI research shows that children who grow up in intact, married families are more likely to have a positive outlook on marriage and maintain more stable marriages than their counterparts. Adolescents with married parents are less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, have sex out of wedlock, or have an abortion. In essence, healthy marriages promote more healthy marriages.
Once selfless marriages gain standing, more and more young people will naturally flock to uphold this institution and its values. “Everyone should know that there are young people concerned about taking back our values,” Lily Alvarez Rabadan of Mexico City stated. “Young people are thirsty for love, and so, we have to talk about it, we have to shout about it.”

Pope Francis Affirms the Value of Traditional Marriage

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Anyone questioning Pope Francis’ stance on the value of traditional marriage can put all doubts to rest. In the ongoing International Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman, Pope Francis reiterated what amounts to a public doctrine on marriage: “The family grounded in marriage is the first school where we learn to appreciate our own and others’ gifts, and where we begin to acquire the arts of cooperative living.”

The family unit, bound by the union of a husband and his wife, is no simplistic element. It is an exceptional unification that conjoins the complementary but diverse gifts of a man and woman. “Complementarity will take many forms as each man and woman brings his or her distinctive contributions to their marriage and to the formation of their children — his or her personal richness, personal charisma,” Pope Francis said. “Complementarity becomes a great wealth. It is not just a good thing but it is also beautiful.”

However, as MARRI research confirms, commitment to marriage is slowly fading. “Evidence is mounting that the decline of the marriage culture is associated with increased poverty and a host of other social ills, disproportionately affecting women, children and the elderly” Pope Francis said. It is indisputably true that marriage is fundamental for a prosperous society. Marriage promotes education, builds wealth, supports health, decreases crime, reduces poverty, and discourages government dependency.

But the benefits of marriage transcend the material. As Francis said, “The family is the foundation of co-existence and a remedy against social fragmentation.” The intact married family, and all of its associated benefits, are necessary for every child to freely grow to their fullest potential. The married intact family is, in essence, a fundamental human right for every child. 

Pope Francis’ public doctrine on marriage—though sideswiped by the mainstream media—is no trivial declaration. It is a logical examination of the social science outcomes of marriage, and a commonsense reaction that some politicians have failed to recognize.

The Truth of Marriage: A Lesson from the Humanum Conference in Rome

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In his Tuesday presentation at the International Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman, evangelical pastor Rev. Dr. Rick Warren reiterated a vital fact that has been lost in the marriage debate: the fundamental good of the family is a timeless truth impenetrable by society’s transient whims. 
As it stands, the good of marriage—and the family it conceives—is obscured by deceiving rhetoric like “love is love,” “equality,” and “bigotry.” Opponents to traditional marriage label it as an antiquated religious concept that is over and done. But Pastor Warren has one lesson for them: “Truths don’t stop being truths just because they become unpopular.”
The truth is that marriage continues to produce as many benefits as ever. As the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) shows, marriage promotes health, increases education, expands wealth, reduces poverty, decreases crime, and discourages government dependency. Its benefits are not only far-reaching, but also long-lasting.
The immutable good of marriage is rooted in the creation of the world when God made male and female. As such, it is engrained in natural law. Only in the sexual act can man and woman populate the world; only within marriage will the sexual act produce a stable society. Society has tried to change this. It has conspired to divorce sexuality from marriage and children from sexuality through man-made constructs like contraception and safe sex. But these attempts have failed and will continue to fail because they contradict the ordered world. As Pastor Warren said, “There’s no such thing as ‘safe sex’ because they don’t make a condom that can fix a broken heart.”
Simply put, the marriage debate is a battle between truths and untruths. Anything that contradicts natural law is an untruth. Although political correctness, popular fads, and social constructionists have tried to debunk the binary notions of truths and falsehoods, right and wrong, good and evil, there is no escaping God’s word. It is time we heed Pastor Warren’s call to action to defend these truths. It is time we accept that the family is, as Pope Francis said, “a strength per se.”

Passing the Half Emptier Mark

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Marriage was once seen as a permanent bond intended to promote monogamous love, spousal devotion, and childrearing. Today, however, many view marriage, or rather its deliberate avoidance, as a means of defying tradition, asserting feminist ideologies, and/ or avoiding commitment. Perhaps most alarming, the mainstream public is supportive but ignorant of the consequences of this shift. 
A Pew Study released Wednesday reveals that 50 percent of adults believe that society is just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children, whereas only 46 percent believe society is better off if people make marriage and having children a priority. However, social science data suggests otherwise. In marriage are contained the five basic institutions—the basic tasks—of society: family, church, school, marketplace and government. MARRI research has emphasized the multitude of benefits the intact, married family confers on children as they learn to value and perform these five fundamental tasks. A few of these advantages are highlighted below.
Family
Families with either biological or adoptive parents present have the highest quality of parent-child relationships,perhaps because marriage enhances an adult’s ability to parent. Married people are more likely to give and receive support with their parents and are more likely to consider their parents as means for possible support in case of an emergency.
Furthermore, those who marry experience increased commitment and stability. Men raised in married families have more open, affectionate, and cooperative relationships with the women to whom they are attracted than do those from divorced families. Correspondingly, married mothers report more love and intimacy in their romantic/spousal relationships than cohabiting or single mothers.
Church
A larger fraction of adults who grew up in an intact married family than from non-intact family structures attend religious services at least monthly. Those from married families are less likely to see religion decline in importance in their lives, less likely to begin attending church less frequently, and less likely to disassociate themselves from their religious affiliation.
School       
Children of married parents are more engaged in school than children from all other family structures. Individuals from intact families completed, on average, more years of schooling and were more likely to graduate from high school and college than were their peers raised in non-intact families. High school students in intact families have GPAs 11 percent higher than those from divorced families.
Marketplace
Intact married families have the largest annual incomeand  the highest net worth of all families with children (widowed families excepted).  Married couples file less than half of all income-tax returns, but pay nearly three-quarters of all income taxes. Marriage increases the income of single African-American women by 81 percent and single white women by 45 percent; African-American men also see an increase in income after marriage.
Government
Crime. Adolescents from intact families are less delinquent and commit fewer violent acts of delinquency. Likewise, a lower fraction of adults and youths raised in intact families are picked up by police than those from non-intact families.
Violence and Abuse. Marriage is associated with lower rates of domestic violence and abuse, in comparison to cohabitation.Correspondingly, Children in intact married families suffer less child abuse than children from any other family structure. Compared to teenagers from intact families, teenagers from divorced families are more verbally aggressive and violent toward their romantic partners.
Health. Married men and women are also more likely to have health insurance. A lower fraction of married than widowed, divorced or separated, never-married, or cohabiting persons have fair to poor health.  Married people are least likely to have mental disorders, and have higher levels of emotional and psychological well-being than those who are single, divorced, or cohabiting.
This data indicates that, contrary to popular opinion, society will not be “just as well off” if marriage and childrearing is neglected or even rejected. Marriage is the foundational relationship for all of society, and a prerequisite for a prosperous nation.
Thinking otherwise, half of Americans are out of touch with reality.
(For full citations, please see the MARRI’s synthesis paper “164 Reasons to Marry”)