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effects_of_out-of-wedlock_births_on_poverty [2015/09/15 10:05]
marri [2. Effects of Marriage on Unmarried Parents]
effects_of_out-of-wedlock_births_on_poverty [2015/10/22 21:30] (current)
marri
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-==========Effects of Out-of-Wedlock Births on Poverty========== +=========Effects of Out-of-Wedlock Births on Poverty==========
-//Research Synthesis Paper//: [[http://​www.heritage.org/​research/​reports/​2003/​05/​increasing-marriage-would-dramatically-reduce-child-poverty|Increasing Marriage will Dramatically Reduce Child Poverty]]+
  
 =====1. Unmarried Parents===== =====1. Unmarried Parents=====
  
-In 2001, 1.35 million children were born outside marriage. This represents 33.5 percent of all children born in the United States in that year. Children raised by never-married mothers were seven times more likely to be poor when compared to children raised in intact married families. However, nearly 50 percent of these mothers are cohabiting with the expectant father at around the time of the child’s birth. Another 23 percent describe themselves as “romantically involved” with the father, although the couple is not cohabiting. The 2001 Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study revealed the following relevant information: ​+In 2001, 1.35 million children were born outside marriage. This represents 33.5 percent of all children born in the United States in that year. Children raised by never-married mothers were seven times more likely to be poor when compared to [[effects_of_marriage_on_child_poverty|children raised in intact married families]]. However, nearly 50 percent of these mothers are cohabiting with the expectant father at around the time of the child’s birth. Another 23 percent describe themselves as “romantically involved” with the father, although the couple is not cohabiting. The 2001 Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study revealed the following relevant information: ​
  
   * The median age of non-married mothers is 22 at the time of birth of the child.   * The median age of non-married mothers is 22 at the time of birth of the child.
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 ====2.1 Scenario #1: The Mother is Unemployed==== ====2.1 Scenario #1: The Mother is Unemployed====
  
-In this scenario, the mothers are not employed after the birth of the child. When single, the mothers are solely dependent on welfare (TANF and food stamps). When married, the mothers are solely dependent on the father’s earnings plus EITC and food stamps.+In this scenario, the mothers are not employed after the birth of the child. When single, the mothers are solely ​[[effects_of_out-of-wedlock_births_on_society|dependent on welfare]] (TANF and food stamps). When married, the mothers are solely dependent on the father’s earnings plus EITC and food stamps.
  
 If mothers remain single and unemployed, they will be poor 100 percent of the time. This is because welfare benefits alone rarely, if ever, provide enough income to raise a family above the poverty level. By contrast, if the mother marries the child’s father, the poverty rate drops dramatically to 35 percent. In other words, nearly two-thirds of the non-married fathers within the marriageable group earn enough by themselves to support a family above poverty without any employment on the part of the mother. If mothers remain single and unemployed, they will be poor 100 percent of the time. This is because welfare benefits alone rarely, if ever, provide enough income to raise a family above the poverty level. By contrast, if the mother marries the child’s father, the poverty rate drops dramatically to 35 percent. In other words, nearly two-thirds of the non-married fathers within the marriageable group earn enough by themselves to support a family above poverty without any employment on the part of the mother.
  
-Under the conditions of Scenario #1, marriage more than doubles the family income of mothers and children. If unmarried, the mothers would have a median income of around $8,800. Marriage would raise the mothers’ median family income by over $11,000 to $20,​226.  ​+Under the conditions of Scenario #1, [[comparative_advantage_of_married_couples|marriage more than doubles the family income]] of mothers and children. If unmarried, the mothers would have a median income of around $8,800. Marriage would raise the mothers’ median family income by over $11,000 to $20,​226.  ​
  
 ====2.2 Scenario #2: The Mother is Employed Part-Time==== ====2.2 Scenario #2: The Mother is Employed Part-Time====
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 Results show that 55 percent of the mothers in the Fragile Families Study will live in poverty if they remain single and are employed part-time. By contrast, if the mothers marry, their poverty rate plummets to 17 percent. In other words, the father’s normal earnings, combined with the part-time earnings of the mother, are sufficient to raise 83 percent of the families above the poverty line. Results show that 55 percent of the mothers in the Fragile Families Study will live in poverty if they remain single and are employed part-time. By contrast, if the mothers marry, their poverty rate plummets to 17 percent. In other words, the father’s normal earnings, combined with the part-time earnings of the mother, are sufficient to raise 83 percent of the families above the poverty line.
  
-Under conditions of part-time maternal employment in Scenario #2, marriage increases family income by 75 percent. If unmarried, mothers would have a median income of around $13,500. Marriage would raise the mothers’ median family income by around $10,000 to a level of $23,​700.((The increase in family income due to marriage is less than the median earnings level of the father because the couple would suffer a substantial reduction in welfare benefits if they marry.)) ​+Under conditions of part-time maternal employment in Scenario #2, marriage increases family income by 75 percent. If unmarried, mothers would have a median income of around $13,500. Marriage would [[effects_of_marriage_on_financial_stability|raise the mothers’ median family income]] by around $10,000 to a level of $23,​700.((The increase in family income due to marriage is less than the median earnings level of the father because the couple would suffer a substantial reduction in welfare benefits if they marry.)) ​
  
-Marriage combined with part-time maternal employment not only raises nearly all families above poverty, but in many cases also raises family income well above the poverty level. For example, under Scenario #2, less than 4 percent of single mothers would have family incomes above 150 percent of the poverty level. By contrast, about 46 percent of married couples would have an income above 150 percent of the poverty level.((In 1999, a family of four would have an income above 150 percent of the poverty level if it had an income above $25,342. A family of three would have an income above 150 percent of the poverty level if it had an income of $20,​135.)) ​+Marriage combined with part-time maternal employment not only raises nearly all families above poverty, but in many cases also raises family income well above the poverty level. For example, under Scenario #2, less than 4 percent of single mothers would have family incomes above 150 percent of the poverty level. By contrast, about 46 percent of married couples would have an income above 150 percent of the poverty level.((In 1999, a family of four would have an income above 150 percent of the poverty level if it had an income above $25,342. A family of three would have an income above 150 percent of the poverty level if it had an income of $20,135
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 +This entry draws heavily from [[http://​www.heritage.org/​research/​reports/​2003/​05/​increasing-marriage-would-dramatically-reduce-child-poverty|Increasing Marriage will Dramatically Reduce Child Poverty]].)) 
  
 ====2.3 Scenario #3: The Mother is Employed Full-Time==== ====2.3 Scenario #3: The Mother is Employed Full-Time====
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 Full-time/​full-year employment is very effective in reducing poverty among single mothers. Some 90 percent of single mothers could maintain their families above poverty if they worked full-time throughout the year. (Full-time/​full-year employment is equivalent to 2,000 annual hours of employment or 40 hours per week for 50 weeks.) Census Bureau data reveal that approximately 30 percent of single mothers with children under four are employed 2,000 hours or more per year. Full-time/​full-year employment is very effective in reducing poverty among single mothers. Some 90 percent of single mothers could maintain their families above poverty if they worked full-time throughout the year. (Full-time/​full-year employment is equivalent to 2,000 annual hours of employment or 40 hours per week for 50 weeks.) Census Bureau data reveal that approximately 30 percent of single mothers with children under four are employed 2,000 hours or more per year.
  
-Since very few single mothers who were employed full-time/​full-year would remain poor, marriage has little effect in reducing poverty in this scenario. ​(Nearly 96 percent of married couples would have incomes above the poverty level, compared to 90 percent of single mothers.However, marriage would raise the family incomes of many full-time working mothers well above poverty and into middle-class levels.+Since very few single mothers who were employed full-time/​full-year would remain poor, marriage has little effect in reducing poverty in this scenario. Nearly 96 percent of married couples would have incomes above the poverty level, compared to 90 percent of single mothers. However, marriage would raise the family incomes of many full-time working mothers well above poverty and into middle-class levels.
  
-Full-time working mothers would have a median income of around $17,500 per year. If these mothers married their child’s father, median family income would rise to $29,000 per year. As Chart 4 shows, nearly ​two-thirds of these married couples would have incomes above 150 percent of the poverty level. By contrast, only 20 percent of full-time working single mothers would have incomes above that level.+Full-time working mothers would have a median income of around $17,500 per year. If these mothers married their child’s father, median family income would rise to $29,000 per year. Nearly ​two-thirds of these married couples would have incomes above 150 percent of the poverty level. By contrast, only 20 percent of full-time working single mothers would have incomes above that level.