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Marriage & Poverty: New Hampshire


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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 New Hampshire.

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Marriage & Poverty: New Hampshire

  1. 1. Marriage: New Hampshire’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 • January 2012 Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society
  2. 2. Growth of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in New Hampshire, 1929–2010 Throughout most of New PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCKHampshire’s history, out-of-wedlock childbearing was rare. 50% In 1968, just four years after thefederal government began the Waron Poverty, only 4.8 percent of 40.8% 40%children in New Hampshire wereborn outside marriage. However,over the next five decades, the 33.2%number rose rapidly. By 2010, 33.2 30%percent of births in New Hamp-shire occurred outside of marriage. National New 20% HampshireNote: Data on non-marital births inNew Hampshire are unavailablebetween 1940 and 1967. However, allstates that do have data for this periodshow a rapid growth in non-marital 10%childbearing from the mid-1960s on.The New Hampshire trend during thisperiod undoubtedly parallels thenational trend shown in the chart. 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 New Hampshire
  3. 3. In New Hampshire, Marriage Drops the Probability of Child Povertyby 93 Percent The rapid rise in out-of- PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN THAT ARE POORwedlock childbearing is a major 30%cause of high levels of child pov- 28.2%erty in New Hampshire. Some 28.2 percent of single 25%mothers with children are poorcompared to 2 percent of marriedcouples with children. 20% Single-parent families withchildren are fourteen times more 15%likely to be poor than families inwhich the parents are married. The higher poverty rate among 10%single-mother families is due bothto the lower education levels ofthe mothers and the lower income 5%due to the absence of the father. 2.0% 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 New Hampshire
  4. 4. In New Hampshire, Three in Ten Families With ChildrenAre Not Married Overall, married couples headabout 73 percent of families withchildren in New Hampshire.Nearly three in ten aresingle-parent families. Unmarried Families 27.5% Married Families 72.5%Source: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 3 • Marriage and Poverty in New Hampshire
  5. 5. In New Hampshire, 83 Percent of Poor Families with ChildrenAre Not Married Among poor families withchildren in New Hampshire, fourin five are not married. Bycontrast, only 17.4 percent of poor Marriedfamilies with children are headed Familiesby married couples. 17.4% Unmarried Families 82.6%Source: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 4 • Marriage and Poverty in New Hampshire
  6. 6. In New Hampshire, 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 4.8 percent ofout-of-wedlock births in New Under Age 18:Hampshire occur to girls under 4.8%age 18. By contrast, some 78 percent ofout-of-wedlock births occur to Age Ageyoung adult women between the 30–54: 18–19:ages of 18 and 29. 17.0% 13.7% Age 25–29: 24.8% Age 20–24: 39.7%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 New Hampshire
  7. 7. 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 6.0% Mothersthemselves: those with low levels 90%of education. 36.1% 80% In New Hampshire, among 70% 55.5%women who are high school drop-outs, about 75.9 percent of all 75.9% 60% Marriedbirths occur outside marriage. 94.0%Among women who have only a 50% Mothershigh school diploma, well overone-half of all births occur outside 40% 63.9%marriage. By contrast, among 30%women with at least a college 44.5%degree, only 6 percent of births are 20%out of wedlock. 24.1% 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 6 • Marriage and Poverty in New Hampshire
  8. 8. Both Marriage and Education Are Highly Effectivein Reducing Child Poverty in New Hampshire The poverty rate of married PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES Poverty Rate of Families by WITH CHILDREN THAT Singlecouples with children is dramati- Education and Marital Status ARE POOR Marriedcally lower than the rate for house- of the Head of Householdholds headed by single parents. 60%This is true even when the marriedcouple is compared to single par-ents with the same education level. 50% 48.1% For example, in New Hamp-shire, the poverty rate for a single 40%mother who has only a highschool diploma is 28.2 percent, 30% 28.2%but the poverty rate for a marriedcouple family headed by an indi- 20.6% 20%vidual who, similarly, has only ahigh school degree is far lower at 12.4%3 percent. 10% 8.2% On average, marriage drops the 3.0% 1.9% 0.8%poverty rate by around 86 percent 0%among families with the same High School High School Some College Dropout Graduate College Graduateeducation level.Source: 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 New Hampshire
  9. 9. Unwed Birth Rates Vary Strongly by Race in New Hampshire Out-of-wedlock childbearing PERCENT OF BIRTHS THAT ARE OUT OF WEDLOCKvaries considerably by race. 60% In 2008 (the most recent yearfor which racial breakdown is 8.3%available), one in three births 48.7%(32.9 percent) in New Hampshire 50%occurred outside marriage. The rate was lowest among 39.5% 40%Asians at about one in 15 births (7percent). Among whites, one-third 32.9% 33.1%of births were out of wedlock. 30% Among blacks, four in ten wereto unmarried women. AmongHispanics, about half of births 20%were out of wedlock. 10% 7.0%Source: U.S. Department of Health and 0%Human Services, Centers for Disease All Races Asian/Pacific White Black HispanicControl and Prevention, 2008 NHS Islander Non- Non-data. Hispanic Hispanic Chart 8 • Marriage and Poverty in New Hampshire
  10. 10. Racial Composition of All Births and Out-of-Wedlock Birthsin New Hampshire In New Hampshire in 2008, ALL BIRTHS OUT-OF-WEDLOCK BIRTHSsome 89.1 percent of all birthsoccurred to non-Hispanic whites,4 percent occurred to Hispanics,and 1.7 percent occurred to non-Hispanic blacks. Because blacks and Hispanicsare more likely to have childrenwithout being married, theyaccount for slightly larger shares of 89.1% White Non- 89.8%all out-of-wedlock births. Even so, Hispanicthe largest number of unwedbirths are to white non-Hispanicwomen. In New Hampshire in 2008,89.8 percent of all non-maritalbirths were to non-Hispanic whitewomen, 5.9 percent were to His-panic women, and 2.1 percentwere to black non-Hispanic 4.0% Hispanic 5.9%women. 3.9% Asian 0.8%Source: U.S. Department of Health and 1.7% Black Non-Hispanic 2.1%Human Services, Centers for Disease 1.3% American Indian/Other 1.4%Control and Prevention, 2008 NHSdata. Note: Figures have been rounded. Chart 9 • Marriage and Poverty in New Hampshire
  11. 11. Non-Married White Families Are Eleven Times More Likely to Be Poorin New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire was 1.8 per- 20% 19.2%cent. But the poverty rate fornon-married white families waseleven times higher at 19.2 per-cent. 15% 10% 5% 1.8% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 10 • Marriage and Poverty in New Hampshire
  12. 12. Non-Married Black Families Are Five Times More Likely to Be Poorin New Hampshire In 2009, the poverty rate for PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORmarried black couples in NewHampshire was 11.4 percent, 70%while the poverty rate for non-married black families was five 61.8%times higher at 61.8 percent. 60% The poverty rate for marriedHispanic families in New Hamp- 50%shire is also far lower than the ratefor non-married Hispanic families.However, the small sample size 40%makes an exact calculation impos-sible. 30% 20% 11.4% 10% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 11 • Marriage and Poverty in New Hampshire
  13. 13. 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.
  14. 14. 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 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 •