Marriage & Poverty: Illinois
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Marriage & Poverty: Illinois

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Marriage is America's #1 weapon against childhood poverty. This presentation details the impact of marriage on the probability of child poverty in Illinois.

Marriage is America's #1 weapon against childhood poverty. This presentation details the impact of marriage on the probability of child poverty in Illinois.

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  • 1. Marriage: Illinois’ No. 1 Weapon Against Childhood PovertyHow the Collapse of Marriage Hurts Children and Three Steps to Reverse the Damage A Heritage Foundation Book of Charts • January 2012 Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society
  • 2. Growth of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in Illinois, 1929–2010 Throughout most of Illinois’ PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCKhistory, out-of-wedlock childbear-ing was rare. 50% When the federal government’sWar on Poverty began in 1964,only 7.7 percent of children in 40.5% 40%Illinois were born out of wedlock.However, over the next fourdecades, the number rose rapidly.By 2010, 40.5 percent of births in 30%Illinois occurred outside of mar-riage. 20%Note: Initiated by President LyndonJohnson in 1964, the War on Povertyled to the creation of more than three 10%dozen welfare programs to aid poorpersons. Government has spent $16.7trillion on means-tested aid to the poorsince 1964. 0%Sources: U.S. Government, U.S. CensusBureau, and National Center for Health 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010Statistics. Chart 1 • Marriage and Poverty in Illinois heritage.org
  • 3. Death of Marriage in Illinois, 1929–2010 The marital birth rate — the PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN BORN TO MARRIED COUPLESpercentage of all births that occurto married parents — is the flip 100%side of the out-of-wedlock birthrate. Through most of the 20th cen- 90%tury, marital births were the normin Illinois in 1964, more than 92percent of births occurred tomarried couples. 80% However, in the mid-1960s, themarital birth rate began to fallsteadily. By 2010, only 59.5 per- 70%cent of births in Illinois occurredto married couples. 60%Note: In any given year, the sum of the 59.5%out-of-wedlock birth rate (Chart 1)and the marital birth rate (Chart 2)equals 100 percent of all births. 50%Sources: U.S. Government, U.S. CensusBureau, and National Center for Health 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010Statistics. Chart 2 • Marriage and Poverty in Illinois heritage.org
  • 4. In Illinois, Marriage Drops the Probability of Child Povertyby 85 Percent The rapid rise in out-of- PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN THAT ARE POORwedlock childbearing is a major 50%cause of high levels of child pov-erty in Illinois. Some 36.8 percent of single 40% 36.8%mothers with children were poorcompared to 5.7 percent of mar-ried couples with children. Single-parent families with 30%children are more than six timesmore likely to be poor than fami-lies in which the parents are mar- 20%ried. The higher poverty rate amongsingle-mother families is due both 10%to the lower education levels of 5.7%the mothers and the lower incomedue to the absence of the father. 0% Single-Parent, Married,Two-ParentSource: U.S. Census Bureau, American Female-Headed FamiliesCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Families Chart 3 • Marriage and Poverty in Illinois heritage.org
  • 5. In Illinois, One-Third of All Families with Children Are Not Married Overall, married couples headtwo-thirds of families withchildren in Illinois. Nearlyone-third are single-parentfamilies. Unmarried Families 32.1% Married Families 67.9%Source: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 4 • Marriage and Poverty in Illinois heritage.org
  • 6. In Illinois, 73 Percent of Poor Families with Children Are Not Married Among poor families withchildren in Illinois, 73 percent arenot married. By contrast, 27percent of poor families withchildren are headed by marriedcouples. Married Families 27.1% Unmarried Families 72.9%Source: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 5 • Marriage and Poverty in Illinois heritage.org
  • 7. In Illinois, Few Unwed Births Occur to Teenagers Out-of-wedlock births are often PERCENTAGE OF OUT-OF-WEDLOCK BIRTHSconfused erroneously with teen BY AGE OF MOTHERbirths, but only 7.9 percent ofout-of-wedlock births in Illinois Underoccur to girls under age 18. Age 18: By contrast, some 74 percent of 7.9%out-of-wedlock births occur to Ageyoung adult women between the 30–54:ages of 18 and 29. 18.3% Age 18–19: 14.5% Age 25–29: 23.3% Age 20–24: 36.0%Note: Figures have been rounded.Source: U.S. Department of Health andHuman Services, Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention, 2008 NHSdata. Chart 6 • Marriage and Poverty in Illinois heritage.org
  • 8. Less-Educated Women Are More Likely to Give BirthOutside of Marriage Unwed childbearing occurs most PERCENTAGE OF BIRTHS THAT ARE MARITALfrequently among the women who OR OUT OF WEDLOCKwill have the greatest difficulty sup- 100%porting children by themselves: those 8.1% Unmarriedwith low levels of education. 90% Mothers In the U.S., among women who 42.0% 80%are high school dropouts, about 65.2percent of all births occur outside 54.5% 70%marriage. Among women who have 65.2%only a high school diploma, well over 60% Marriedhalf of all births occur outside mar- 91.9% 50% Mothersriage. By contrast, among womenwith at least a college degree, only 40%8.1 percent of births are out of wed- 58.0%lock. 30% 45.5%Note: Specific data on out-of-wedlock 20%births and maternal education are not 34.8%available in Illinois. However, the pattern 10%varies little between states. Illinois datawill be very similar to the national data 0%presented in this chart. High School High School Some College Mother’s Dropout Graduate College Graduate educationSource: U.S. Department of Health andHuman Services, Centers for Disease (0–11 (12 (13–15 (16+ levelControl and Prevention, 2008 NHS data.  Years) Years) Years) Years) Chart 7 • Marriage and Poverty in Illinois heritage.org
  • 9. Both Marriage and Education Are Highly Effectivein Reducing Child Poverty in Illinois The poverty rate of married PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES Poverty Rate of Families bycouples with children is dramati- WITH CHILDREN THAT Single Education and Marital Statuscally lower than the rate for house- ARE POOR Married of the Head of Householdholds headed by single parents. 70%This is true even when the marriedcouple is compared to single par- 60% 58.8%ents with the same education level. For example, in Illinois, the 50%poverty rate for a single motherwho has only a high school 40% 39.5%diploma is 39.5 percent, but thepoverty rate for a married couple 30% 29.6%family headed by an individualwho, similarly, has only a high 20% 19.9%school degree is far lower at 8.1percent. 10.9% 10% 8.1% 4.2% On average, marriage drops the 1.7%poverty rate by about 79 percent 0%among families with the same High School High School Some Collegeeducation level. Dropout Graduate College GraduateSource: U.S. Census Bureau, American Note: Virtually none of the heads of families in the chart who are high schoolCommunity Survey, 2005–2009 data. dropouts are minor teenagers. Chart 8 • Marriage and Poverty in Illinois heritage.org
  • 10. Unwed Birth Rates Vary Strongly by Race in Illinois Out-of-wedlock childbearing PERCENT OF BIRTHS THAT ARE OUT OF WEDLOCKvaries considerably by race. 100% In 2008, 40.7 percent of allbirths in Illinois occurred outside 8.3% 90%marriage. The unwed birth ratewas lowest among non-Hispanic 79.8% 80%whites at over one in four births(25.9 percent). 70% Among Hispanics, well over halfof births were out-of-wedlock. 60% 52.1%Among blacks, eight out of 10 50%births were to unmarried women(79.8 percent). 40.7% 40% 30% 25.9% 20% 10% 0%Source: U.S. Department of Health andHuman Services, Centers for Disease All Races White Hispanic BlackControl and Prevention, 2008 NHS Non- Non-data. Hispanic Hispanic Chart 9 • Marriage and Poverty in Illinois heritage.org
  • 11. Growth of Unwed Childbearing by Race in Illinois, 1934–2008 Historically, out-of-wedlock PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCKchildbearing has been somewhatmore frequent among blacks than 100%among whites. However, prior tothe onset of the federal 90% Black Non-government’s War on Poverty in Hispanic 80%1964, the rates for both whites and 79.8%blacks were comparatively low. 70% In 1964, less than one in thirty(3.1 percent) white children were 60%born outside marriage. By 2008, Hispanicthe number had risen to over one 50% 52.1%in four (25.9 percent). In 1964, three in ten black 40%children (30.2 percent) were born White Non- 30%outside marriage. By 2008, the Hispanicnumber had risen to eight in ten 25.9% 20%(79.8 percent). 10% 0%Sources: U.S. Government, U.S. CensusBureau, and National Center for Health 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2008Statistics. Chart 10 • Marriage and Poverty in Illinois heritage.org
  • 12. Racial Composition of All Births and Out-of-Wedlock Births in Illinois In Illinois in 2008, some 52.6 ALL BIRTHS OUT-OF-WEDLOCK BIRTHSpercent of all births occurred tonon-Hispanic whites, 17.5 percentoccurred to non-Hispanic blacks,and 24.2 percent occurred toHispanics. 52.6% White Non- 33.5% Because blacks and Hispanics Hispanicare more likely to have childrenwithout being married, theyaccount for a disproportionatelylarger share of all out-of-wedlockbirths. 34.2% In Illinois in 2008, 33.5 percentof all non-marital births were to Black Non- 17.5%non-Hispanic whites, 34.2 percent Hispanicwere to black non-Hispanicwomen, and 31 percent were toHispanics. 24.2% Hispanic 31.0% 5.7% Asian/Other 1.3%Source: U.S. Department of Health andHuman Services, Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention, 2008 NHSdata. Note: Figures have been rounded. Chart 11 • Marriage and Poverty in Illinois heritage.org
  • 13. Non-Married White Families Are Nearly Eight Times More Likelyto Be Poor in Illinois Marriage leads to lower poverty PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORrates for whites, blacks, and His-panics. 25% For example, in 2009, the pov-erty rate for married white familiesin Illinois was 2.6 percent. But the 19.9%poverty rate for non-married white 20%families was nearly eight timeshigher at 19.9 percent. 15% 10% 5% 2.6% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 12 • Marriage and Poverty in Illinois heritage.org
  • 14. Non-Married Black Families Are Five Times More Likely to Be Poorin Illinois In 2009, the poverty rate for PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORmarried black couples in Illinoiswas 6.8 percent, while the poverty 40%rate for non-married black families 36.9%was five times higher at 36.9percent. 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 6.8% 5% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 13 • Marriage and Poverty in Illinois heritage.org
  • 15. Non-Married Hispanic Families Are Three Times More Likely to Be Poorin Illinois In 2009, the poverty rate for PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORHispanic married families inIllinois was 11.2 percent, while the 40%poverty rate among non-marriedfamilies was three times higher at 34.8%34.8 percent. 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 11.2% 10% 5% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 14 • Marriage and Poverty in Illinois heritage.org
  • 16. Three Steps to Reduce Child Poverty through Marriage1) Provide information on the benefits of marriage in reducing child poverty and improving child well-being. Marriage is a highly effective institution which greatly decreases parental and child poverty while improving long-term outcomes for children. Conversely, the absence of marriage greatly increases welfare costs and imposes added burdens on taxpayers. Unfortunately, almost no information on these topics is available in low-income communities. This information deficit should be corrected in the following manner: • Explain the benefits of marriage in middle and high schools with a high proportion of at-risk youth; • Create public education campaigns in low-income communities on the benefits of marriage; and, • Require federally funded birth control clinics to provide information on the benefits of marriage and the skills needed to develop stable families to interested low-income clients.2) Reduce anti-marriage penalties in means-tested welfare programs.3) Promote life-goal-planning, marriage-strengthening, and divorce-reduction programs to increase healthy marriages and reduce divorce and separation.
  • 17. The Family & Religion Initiative is one of 10 Transformational Initiatives making up The HeritageFoundation’s Leadership for America campaign. For more products and information related to this initiativeor to learn more about the Leadership for America campaign, please visit heritage.org. The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institution—a think tank—whose mission is toformulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited gov-ernment, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. Our vision is to build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish. Asconservatives, we believe the values and ideas that motivated our Founding Fathers are worth conserving.As policy entrepreneurs, we believe the most effective solutions are consistent with those ideas and values. 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE • Washington, D.C. 20002 • (202) 546-4400 • heritage.org