Does Family Structure Matter and its political Impact

Click to access Family_and_Poverty_Election_Implications.pdf

Below is excerpts from this study done by the Foundation.

Thirty-five percent of Black families headed by single parents live in poverty compared to 7% of Black families and 38% of Hispanics single female head of house hold live in poverty compared to 12% of married Hispanic couples. Living in a single parent home increases the chances of children living in poverty and receiving government assistance, thus more likely to support big government programs and income transfers. But those programs have done nothing to help women and children rise out of poverty. Marriage is a significant factor in poverty and as Heritage Foundation Researcher Robert Rector noted, “Marriage remains America’s strongest anti-poverty weapon. As husbands disappear from the home, poverty, and welfare dependence will increase. Children and parents will suffer as result.” Family structure plays a factor in combating poverty and the evidence shows decline in family formation plays a role in the number of minorities in poverty.

In 1930, only 6.3% children were born out of wedlock but today that number has risen to 40%. 36% of single parents live in poverty compared to 6.3% of married couple. Only one out of four families with children are poor when contrasted to nearly 71% of families headed by single parents, showing that family formation is a significant factor in poverty. While many blame teen pregnancy for increase single parents, three out of five unwed children are born to women 20 -29.

Education plays a significant role in unwed mothers as the least educated women are more likely to have children out of wedlock. 67% of Women without high school degree have children without marriage whereas mothers with college degrees or higher have 8.3% chance of children out of wedlock. Education is a factor in whether a woman will have a child out of wedlock but regardless of education, married women are less likely to live in poverty. Only 15% of women who are married and without a high school diploma live in poverty whereas 47% of single female head of household dropouts live in poverty. 31% of Single female head of households with high school diploma live in poverty compared to only 5% of married families and 24% of single female head of households with some college degree live in poverty compared to only 3.2% married women live in poverty. Nearly 9% of women with college degrees or higher live in poverty compared to 1.5% of married families with college degree or higher.

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