Report

US / Married adults who raise children are 56 percent more likely to be poor

Most parents with below-poverty incomes who are raising minor children are married. according to Married … without Means Poverty and Economic Hardship Among Married Americans by Shawn Fremstad

The failure of many policy elites to recognize the extent of marital poverty covers up the profound economic struggles of millions of married parents. The paper concludes that to reduce marital poverty and hardship — and increase economic security for families of all types — policy makers need to expand and strengthen labor market institutions as well as universal systems of social protection against economic risks, and make quality child care and early education a birthright for all children.

Key Findings

  • More than 7 million married nonelderly adults have below-poverty incomes.
  • Among parents living below the poverty line and caring for minor children, 43 percent are married.
  • Using a contemporary poverty line— a conservative one equal to $33,686 for a family of four—13.5 million married adults have below-poverty incomes, and half of parents living below the poverty line and caring for minor children are married.
  • Among prime-age (30-49) parents living below the poverty line and caring for minor children, 60 percent are married (and not separated).
  • Married adults who raise children are 56 percent more likely to have below poverty incomes than married adults without children.

Figure 2 below is a bubble chart that displays, by marital status, the number of prime-age adults with below-poverty incomes who are caring for children (the first data column in table 4), the poverty rate for prime-age adults caring for children (the third data column), and the increase in poverty risk associated with caring for children (the fourth data column).

FireShot Screen Capture #306 - 'www_cepr_net_documents_publications_married-without-means-2012-11_pdf' - www_cepr_net_documents_publications_married-without-means-2012-11

Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from

FireShot Screen Capture #305 - 'www_cepr_net_documents_publications_married-without-means-2012-11_pdf' - www_cepr_net_documents_publications_married-without-means-2012-11

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