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Marriage Poverty - Michigan

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  • 1. Marriage:Michigan’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 Michigan, 1929–2010 Throughout most of Michigan’s 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 5.6 percent of children in 41.8% 40%Michigan were born out of wed-lock. However, over the next fourdecades, the number rose rapidly.By 2009, over four in ten births in 30%Michigan occurred outside ofmarriage.Note: Initiated by President Lyndon 20%Johnson in 1963, the War on Povertyled to the creation of more than threedozen welfare programs to aid poorpersons. Government has spent $16.7 10%trillion on means-tested aid to the poorsince 1964.No data is available for 1979. 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 Michigan heritage.org
  • 3. Death of Marriage in Michigan, 1929–2010 The marital birth rate—the PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN BORN TO MARRIED COUPLESpercentage of all births that occurto married parents—is the flip side 100%of the out-of-wedlock birth rate. Through most of the 20th cen-tury, marital births were the norm 90%in Michigan. In 1964, more than94 percent of births occurred tomarried couples. However, in the mid-1960s, the 80%marital birth rate began to fallsteadily. By 2010, only 58.2 per-cent of births in Michiganoccurred to married couples. 70%Note: In any given year, the sum of theout-of-wedlock birth rate (Chart 1) 60%and the marital birth rate (Chart 2) 58.2%equals 100 percent of all births.No data is available for 1979. 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 Michigan heritage.org
  • 4. In Michigan, Marriage Drops the Probability of Child Povertyby 83 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 Michigan. 41.5% Some 41.5 percent of single 40%mothers with children were poorcompared to 7 percent of marriedcouples with children. Single-parent families with 30%children are six times more likelyto be poor than families in whichthe parents are married. 20% The higher poverty rate amongsingle-mother families is due bothto the lower education levels of 10%the mothers and the lower income 7.0%due 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 Michigan heritage.org
  • 5. In Michigan, One-Third of All Families with Children Are Not Married Overall, married couples headtwo-thirds of families withchildren in Michigan. One-thirdare single-parent families. Unmarried Families 33.9% Married Families 66.1%Source: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 4 • Marriage and Poverty in Michigan heritage.org
  • 6. In Michigan, 74 Percent of Poor Families with Children Are Not Married Among poor families withchildren in Michigan, 74 percentare not married. By contrast, onlyone-quarter of poor families withchildren are headed by married Marriedcouples. Families 26.5% Unmarried Families 73.5%Source: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 5 • Marriage and Poverty in Michigan heritage.org
  • 7. In Michigan, 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 7.5 percent ofout-of-wedlock births in Michigan Underoccur to girls under age 18. Age 18: 7.5% By contrast, some 77 percent ofout-of-wedlock births occur to Ageyoung adult women between the 30–54:ages of 18 and 29. 15.8% Age 18–19: 15.5% Age 25–29: 21.9% Age 20–24: 39.3%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 Michigan heritage.org
  • 8. Less-Educated Women in Michigan Are More Likelyto Give Birth Outside of Marriage Unwed childbearing occurs PERCENTAGE OF BIRTHS THAT ARE MARITALmost frequently among the OR OUT OF WEDLOCKwomen who will have the great- 100% 6.1% Unmarriedest difficulty supporting children Mothersby themselves: those with low 90%levels of education. 80% 37.4% In Michigan, among womenwho are high school dropouts, 70% 56.5%about 72.6 percent of all births 60% 72.6%occur outside marriage. Amongwomen who have only a high 50% 93.9% Marriedschool diploma, well over half of Mothersall births occur outside mar- 40%riage. By contrast, among 30% 62.6%women with at least a collegedegree, only 6.1 percent of births 20% 43.5%are out of wedlock. 27.4% 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 NHS Years) Years) Years) Years)data. Chart 7 • Marriage and Poverty in Michigan heritage.org
  • 9. Both Marriage and Education Are Highly Effectivein Reducing Child Poverty in Michigan 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 66.1%couple is compared to single par- 60%ents with the same education level. For example, in Michigan, the 50%poverty rate for a single mother 43.8%who has only a high school 40%diploma is 43.8 percent, but the 32.9%poverty rate for a married couple 30% 27.6%family headed by an individualwho, similarly, has only a high 20%school degree is far lower at 9.4 12.0%percent. 10% 9.4% 5.4% On average, marriage drops the 1.7%poverty rate by around 77 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 Michigan heritage.org
  • 10. Unwed Birth Rates Vary Strongly by Race in Michigan Out-of-wedlock childbearing PERCENT OF BIRTHS THAT ARE OUT OF WEDLOCKvaries considerably by race. 90% In 2008, more than four in tenbirths (40.2 percent) in Michigan 8.3% 80% 78.9%occurred outside marriage. Therate was lowest among non-Hispanic whites at over three in 70%ten births (30.2 percent). AmongHispanics, nearly half of births 60%were out-of-wedlock. Among 49.8%blacks, nearly eight out of ten 50%births were to unmarried women 40.2%(78.9 percent). 40% 30.2% 30% 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 Michigan heritage.org
  • 11. Growth of Unwed Childbearing by Race in Michigan, 1934–2008 Historically, out-of-wedlock PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCKchildbearing has been somewhatmore frequent among blacks than 90%among whites. However, prior to Black Non-the onset of the federal 80% Hispanicgovernment’s War on Poverty in 78.9%1964, the rates for both whites and 70%blacks were comparatively low. In 1964, around one in thirty 60%(3.4 percent) white children were Hispanicborn outside marriage. By 2008, 50% 49.8%the number had risen to nearlyone in three (30.2 percent). 40% In 1964, over two in ten black White Non-children (22.46 percent) were 30% Hispanicborn outside marriage. By 2008, 30.2%the number had risen to over 20%nearly eight in ten (78.9 percent). 10%Note: No data is available for 1979. 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 Michigan heritage.org
  • 12. Racial Composition of All Births and Out-of-Wedlock Births in Michigan In Michigan in 2008, some 69.8 ALL BIRTHS OUT-OF-WEDLOCK BIRTHSpercent of all births occurred tonon-Hispanic whites, 18.5 percentoccurred to non-Hispanic blacks,and 7.3 percent occurred toHispanics. Because blacks and Hispanics 69.8% White Non- 52.5%are more likely to have children Hispanicwithout being married, theyaccount for a disproportionatelylarge share of all out-of-wedlockbirths. Even so, the largest numberof unwed births are to white non-Hispanic women. In Michigan in 2008, 52.5 per-cent of all non-marital births wereto non-Hispanic whites, 36.4percent were to black non- 18.5% Black Non- 36.4%Hispanic women, and 9.1 percent Hispanicwere to Hispanics. 7.3% Hispanic 9.1% 4.4% Asian/Other 2.0%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 Michigan heritage.org
  • 13. Non-Married White Families Are Nearly Seven Times More Likelyto Be Poor in Michigan Marriage leads to lower poverty PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORrates for whites, blacks, and His-panics in Michigan. 30% For example, in 2009, the pov- 26.5%erty rate for married white familiesin Michigan was 3.9 percent. But 25%the poverty rate for non-marriedwhite families was nearly seventimes higher at 26.5 percent. 20% 15% 10% 5% 3.9% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 12 • Marriage and Poverty in Michigan heritage.org
  • 14. Non-Married Black Families Are Four Times More Likelyto Be Poor in Michigan In 2009, the poverty rate for PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORmarried black couples inMichigan was 10.2 percent, while 50%the poverty rate for non-marriedblack families was four times 45%higher at 40.9 percent. 40.9% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10.2% 10% 5% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 13 • Marriage and Poverty in Michigan heritage.org
  • 15. Non-Married Hispanic Families Are Three Times More Likelyto Be Poor in Michigan In 2009, the poverty rate for PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORHispanic married families inMichigan was 14.1 percent, while 60%the poverty rate among non-married families was more thanthree times higher at 46.7 percent. 50% 46.7% 40% 30% 20% 14.1% 10% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 14 • Marriage and Poverty in Michigan 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