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  • 1. Marriage: Nevada’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 Nevada, 1929–2010 Throughout most of Nevada’s PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCKhistory, out-of-wedlock childbearingwas rare. 50% In 1964, after the federal govern-ment began the War on Poverty, only 44.3%5.2 percent of children in Nevadawere born outside marriage. How- 40% 40.8%ever, over the next five decades, thenumber rose rapidly. By 2010, 44.3percent of births in Nevada occurred Nevadaoutside of marriage. 30% NationalNote: Data on non-marital births inNevada are unavailable from 1945 to1948 and from 1971 to 1979. How- 20%ever, all states that do have data for thisperiod show a rapid growth in non-marital childbearing from the mid-1960s on. The Nevada trend duringthis period undoubtedly parallels the 10%national trend shown in the chart. Dueto changes in administrative proce-dures, the Nevada data in 1995 and1996 are unreliable. 0%Sources: U.S. Government, U.S. CensusBureau, and National Center for 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010Health Statistics. Chart 1 • Marriage and Poverty in Nevada heritage.org
  • 3. In Nevada, Marriage Drops the Probability of Child Povertyby 78 Percent The rapid rise in out-of-wedlock PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN THAT ARE POORchildbearing is a major cause of 35%high levels of child poverty inNevada. 29.9% 30% Some 29.9 percent of singlemothers with children were poorcompared to 6.5 percent of mar- 25%ried couples with children. Single-parent families with 20%children are nearly five times morelikely to be poor than families inwhich the parents are married. 15% The higher poverty rate amongsingle-mother families is due both 10%to the lower education levels of 6.5%the mothers and the lower income 5%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 2 • Marriage and Poverty in Nevada heritage.org
  • 4. In Nevada, One-Third of All Families with Children Are Not Married Overall, married couples headabout two-thirds of families withchildren in Nevada. Overone-third are single-parentfamilies. Unmarried Families 34.8% Married Families 65.2%Source: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 3 • Marriage and Poverty in Nevada heritage.org
  • 5. In Nevada, Two-Thirds of Poor Families with Children Are Not Married Among poor families withchildren in Nevada, two-thirds arenot married. By contrast, onlyone-third of poor families withchildren are headed by marriedcouples. Married Families 33.3% Unmarried Families 66.7%Source: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 4 • Marriage and Poverty in Nevada heritage.org
  • 6. In Nevada, 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 8.3 percent ofout-of-wedlock births in Nevada Underoccur to girls under age 18. Age 18: 8.3% By contrast, some 71 percent ofout-of-wedlock births occur toyoung adult women between the Ageages of 18 and 29. 30–54: Age 20.6% 18–19: 13.3% Age 25–29: Age 23.9% 20–24: 33.9%Note: Figures have been rounded.Source: U.S. Department of Health andHuman Services, Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention, 2008 NHSdata. Chart 5 • Marriage and Poverty in Nevada heritage.org
  • 7. Less-Educated Women Are More Likely to Give Birth Outsideof Marriage Unwed childbearing occurs most PERCENTAGE OF BIRTHS THAT ARE MARITALfrequently among the women who OR OUT OF WEDLOCKwill have the greatest difficulty 100% Unmarriedsupporting children by themselves: 8.1%those with low levels of education. 90% Mothers In the U.S., among women who 42.0%are high school dropouts, about 65.2 80%percent of all births occur outside 54.5%marriage. Among women who have 70%only a high school diploma, well 65.2%over half of all births occur outside 60% Married 91.9%marriage. By contrast, among 50% Motherswomen with at least a college degree,only 8.1 percent of births are out of 40%wedlock. 58.0% 30%Note: Specific data on out-of-wedlock 45.5%births and maternal education are not 20%available in Nevada. However, the 34.8%pattern varies little between states. 10%Nevada data will be very similar to thenational data presented in this chart. 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 6 • Marriage and Poverty in Nevada heritage.org
  • 8. Both Marriage and Education Are Highly Effectivein Reducing Child Poverty in Nevada 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. 50%This is true even when the marriedcouple is compared to single par- 42.6%ents with the same education level. 40% For example, in Nevada, thepoverty rate for a single motherwho has only a high school 30%diploma is 25 percent, but the 25.0%poverty rate for a married couple 20% 18.1% 18.6%family headed by an individualwho, similarly, has only a highschool degree is far lower at 10% 8.4%6.3 percent. 6.3% 3.4% 2.3% On average, marriage drops thepoverty rate by around 72 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 7 • Marriage and Poverty in Nevada heritage.org
  • 9. Unwed Birth Rates Vary Strongly by Race in Nevada Out-of-wedlock childbearing PERCENT OF BIRTHS THAT ARE OUT OF WEDLOCKvaries considerably by race. 80% In 2008 (the most recent yearfor which racial breakdown is 8.3% 71.0%available), 42.5 percent of births in 70%Nevada occurred outside marriage.The rate was lowest among non- 60%Hispanic whites. Within thatgroup around three in ten births 50.9% 50%were non-marital. 42.5% Among Hispanics, about half of 40%births were out of wedlock.Among blacks, seven in ten were 30.4%to unmarried women. 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 8 • Marriage and Poverty in Nevada heritage.org
  • 10. Racial Composition of All Births and Out-of-Wedlock Births in Nevada In Nevada in 2008, some 41.1 ALL BIRTHS OUT-OF-WEDLOCK BIRTHSpercent of all births occurred tonon-Hispanic whites, 38.9 percentoccurred to Hispanics, and 9.1percent occurred to non-Hispanicblacks. 41.1% White Non- 29.4% Because blacks and Hispanics Hispanicare more likely to have childrenwithout being married, theyaccount for disproportionatelylarger shares of all out-of-wedlockbirths. In Nevada in 2008, 46.5 percentof all non-marital births were to 38.9% Hispanic 46.5%Hispanic women, 29.4 percentwere to white non-Hispanicwomen, and 15.2 percent were toblack non-Hispanic women. Black Non- 15.2% 9.1% Hispanic 8.0% Asian 5.0% 2.9% American 3.9%Source: U.S. Department of Health and Indian/OtherHuman Services, Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention, 2008 NHSdata. Note: Figures have been rounded. Chart 9 • Marriage and Poverty in Nevada heritage.org
  • 11. Non-Married White Families Are Seven Times More Likely to Be Poorin Nevada Marriage leads to lower poverty PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORrates for whites, blacks, and His-panics. 18% 16.9% For example, in 2009, the pov-erty rate for married white families 16%in Nevada was 2.4 percent, but thepoverty rate for non-married white 14%families was seven times higher at16.9 percent. 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2.4% 2% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 10 • Marriage and Poverty in Nevada heritage.org
  • 12. Non-Married Black Families Are Five Times More Likely to Be Poorin Nevada In 2009, the poverty rate for PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORmarried black couples in Nevadawas 6.1 percent, while the poverty 35%rate for non-married black familieswas five times higher at 29.9 29.9%percent. 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 6.1% 5% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 11 • Marriage and Poverty in Nevada heritage.org
  • 13. Non-Married Hispanic Families Are Three Times More Likely to Be Poorin Nevada In 2009, the poverty rate for PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORHispanic married families inNevada was 10.8 percent, while 35% 33.1%the poverty rate among non-married families was three timeshigher at 33.1 percent. 30% 25% 20% 15% 10.8% 10% 5% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 12 • Marriage and Poverty in Nevada heritage.org
  • 14. 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.
  • 15. 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