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Marriage Poverty - North Dakota

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  • 1. Marriage: North Dakota’s 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 • 2012 Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society
  • 2. Growth of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in North Dakota, 1929–2010 Throughout most of North PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCKDakota’s history, out-of-wedlockchildbearing was rare. 35% When the federal government’s 32.7%War on Poverty began in 1964, 30%only 3.5 percent of children inNorth Dakota were born out ofwedlock. However, over the next 25%four decades, the number roserapidly. By 2010, 32.7 percent of 20%births in North Dakota occurredoutside of marriage. 15%Note: Initiated by President Lyndon 10%Johnson in 1964, the War on Povertyled to the creation of more than threedozen welfare programs to aid poorpersons. Government has spent $16.7 5%trillion 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 North Dakota heritage.org
  • 3. Death of Marriage in North Dakota, 1929–2010 The marital birth rate — the PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN BORN TO MARRIED COUPLESpercentage of all births that occur 100%to married parents — is the flipside of the out-of-wedlock birthrate. Through most of the 20th cen- 90%tury, marital births were the normin North Dakota. In 1964, nearly97 percent of births occurred tomarried couples. 80% However, in the mid-1960s, themarital birth rate began to fallsteadily. By 2010, only 67.3 per- 70%cent of births in North Dakota 67.3%occurred to married couples. 60%Note: In any given year, the sum of theout-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 North Dakota heritage.org
  • 4. In North Dakota, Marriage Drops the Probability of Child Povertyby 91 Percent The rapid rise in out-of-wedlock PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN THAT ARE POORchildbearing is a major cause of 45%high levels of child poverty in 40.8%North Dakota. 40% Some 40.8 percent of singlemothers with children are poor 35%compared to 3.7 percent of mar-ried couples with children. 30% Single-parent families with 25%children are eleven times morelikely to be poor than families in 20%which the parents are married. The higher poverty rate among 15%single-mother families is due bothto the lower education levels of 10%the mothers and the lower incomedue to the absence of the father. 5% 3.7% 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 North Dakota heritage.org
  • 5. In North Dakota, One-Quarter of All Families with ChildrenAre Not Married Overall, married couples headabout three-quarters of familieswith children in North Dakota.About one-quarter aresingle-parent families. Unmarried Families 26.9% Married Families 73.1%Source: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 4 • Marriage and Poverty in North Dakota heritage.org
  • 6. In North Dakota, 77 Percent of Poor Families with ChildrenAre Not Married Among poor families withchildren in North Dakota, morethan three-quarters are notmarried. By contrast, only 23.1percent of poor families withchildren are headed by married Marriedcouples. Families 23.1% Unmarried Families 76.9%Source: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 5 • Marriage and Poverty in North Dakota heritage.org
  • 7. In North Dakota, 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 5.8 percent ofout-of-wedlock births in North Under Age 18:Dakota occur to girls under age 5.8%18. By contrast, some 81 percent of Ageout-of-wedlock births occur to 30–54: Ageyoung adult women between the 12.9% 18–19:ages of 18 and 29. 14.3% Age 25–29: 24.0% Age 20–24: 43.0%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 North Dakota heritage.org
  • 8. Less-Educated Women Are More Likely to Give BirthOutside of Marriage Unwed childbearing occurs PERCENTAGE OF BIRTHS THAT ARE MARITALmost frequently among the OR OUT OF WEDLOCKwomen who will have the greatest 100% Unmarrieddifficulty supporting children by 5.5% 90% Mothersthemselves: those with low levelsof education. 35.4% 80% In North Dakota, among 54.0%women who are high school drop- 70% 74.6%outs, about 74.6 percent of all 60%births occur outside marriage. 94.5% MarriedAmong women who have only a 50% Mothershigh school diploma, over half of 40%all births occur outside marriage. 64.6%By contrast, among women with 30%at least a college degree, only 5.5 46.0%percent of births are out of wed- 20%lock. 25.4% 10% 0% High School High School Some College Mother’sSource: U.S. Department of Health and Dropout Graduate College Graduate educationHuman Services, Centers for Disease (0–11 (12 (13–15 (16+ levelControl and Prevention, 2008 NHSdata.  Years) Years) Years) Years) Chart 7 • Marriage and Poverty in North Dakota heritage.org
  • 9. Both Marriage and Education Are Highly Effectivein Reducing Child Poverty in North Dakota 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 married 62.9%couple is compared to single par- 60%ents with the same education level. For example, in North Dakota, 50%the poverty rate for a singlemother who has only a high 40% 38.2%school diploma is 38.2 percent,but the poverty rate for a married 30% 29.8%couple family headed by an indi-vidual who, similarly, has only a 20%high school degree is far lower at 9.6% 11.1%6.1 percent. 10% 6.1% 4.1% On average, marriage drops the 1.5%poverty rate by about 85 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 North Dakota heritage.org
  • 10. Unwed Birth Rates Vary Strongly by Race in North Dakota Out-of-wedlock childbearing PERCENT OF BIRTHS THAT ARE OUT OF WEDLOCKvaries considerably by race. In 2008, 33.6 percent of births 100%in North Dakota occurred outside 8.3% 90%marriage. The rate was lowest 81.3%among non-Hispanic whites at 80%over one in four (26.9 percent).Among blacks, 37.2 percent were 70%to unmarried women. AmongHispanics, 45.9 percent of births 60%were out of wedlock. The rate washighest among American Indian 50% 45.9%women at well over eight in tenbirths (81.3 percent). 40% 37.2% 33.6% 30% 26.9% 20% 10% 0%Source: U.S. Department of Health andHuman Services, Centers for Disease All Races White Black Hispanic AmericanControl and Prevention, 2008 NHS Non- Non- Indiandata. Hispanic Hispanic Chart 9 • Marriage and Poverty in North Dakota heritage.org
  • 11. Racial Composition of All Births and Out-of-Wedlock Birthsin North Dakota ALL BIRTHS OUT-OF-WEDLOCK BIRTHS In North Dakota in 2008, some81.9 percent of all births occurredto non-Hispanic whites, 10.9percent occurred to AmericanIndians, and 3.1 percent occurredto Hispanics. Because Hispanics and Ameri-can Indians are more likely to havechildren without being married, 81.9% 65.8%they account for a disproportion-ately larger share of all out-of-wedlock births. Even so, the larg- White Non-est number of unwed births occur Hispanicto white non-Hispanic women. In North Dakota in 2008, 65.8percent of all non-marital birthswere to non-Hispanic whites, 26.4percent were to American Indianwomen, and 4.3 percent were to 26.4%Hispanics. American 10.9% Indian 3.1% Hispanic 4.3%Source: U.S. Department of Health and 1.7% Black Non-Hispanic 1.8%Human Services, Centers for Disease 1.2% Asian/Pacific Islander 0.3% 1.2% Not Stated 1.5%Control and Prevention, 2008 NHSdata. Note: Figures have been rounded. Chart 10 • Marriage and Poverty in North Dakota heritage.org
  • 12. Non-Married White Families Are Ten Times More Likely to Be Poorin North Dakota Marriage leads to lower poverty PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORrates for whites, blacks, Hispanics,and American Indians. 30% For example, in 2009, the pov- 27.7%erty rate for married white familiesin North Dakota was 2.8 percent. 25%But the poverty rate for non-married white families was tentimes higher at 27.7 percent. 20% 15% 10% 5% 2.8% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 11 • Marriage and Poverty in North Dakota heritage.org
  • 13. Non-Married Black Families Are Three Times More Likely to Be Poorin North Dakota In 2009, the poverty rate for PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORmarried black couples in NorthDakota was 11 percent, while the 40%poverty rate for non-married blackfamilies was three times higher at 34.4%34.4 percent. 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 11.0% 10% 5% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 12 • Marriage and Poverty in North Dakota heritage.org
  • 14. Non-Married American Indian Families Are Three Times More Likelyto Be Poor in North Dakota In 2009, the poverty rate for PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORmarried American Indian familiesin North Dakota was 18.3 percent, 70%while the poverty rate amongnon-married families was threetimes higher at 57.3 percent. 60% 57.3% 50% 40% 30% 20% 18.3% 10% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 13 • Marriage and Poverty in North Dakota heritage.org
  • 15. 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.
  • 16. 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

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