Marriage Poverty - Montana


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Marriage Poverty - Montana

  1. 1. Marriage:Montana’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. 2. Growth of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in Montana, 1929–2010 Throughout most of Montana’s PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCKhistory, out-of-wedlock childbear-ing was rare. 50% In 1959, just five years beforethe federal government began theWar on Poverty, only 2.8 percent 40.8% 40%of children in Montana were bornoutside marriage. However, over 36.4%the next five decades, the numberrose rapidly. By 2010, 36.4 percent 30%of births in Montana occurredoutside of marriage. National Montana 20%Note: Data on non-marital births inMontana are unavailable between1960 and 1979. However, all statesthat do have data for this periodshow a rapid growth in non-marital 10%childbearing from the mid-1960s on.The Montana trend during this periodundoubtedly parallels the nationaltrend shown in the chart. 0%Sources: U.S. Government, U.S.Census Bureau, and National Center 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010for Health Statistics. Chart 1 • Marriage and Poverty in Montana
  3. 3. In Montana, Marriage Drops the Probability of Child Povertyby 80 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 Montana. 45% 43.0% Some 43 percent of single moth- 40%ers with children were poor com-pared to 8.5 percent of married 35%couples with children. Single-parent families with 30%children are five times more likely 25%to be poor than families in whichthe parents are married. 20% The higher poverty rate amongsingle-mother families is due both 15%to the lower education levels of 8.5% 10%the mothers and the lower incomedue to the absence of the father. 5% 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 Montana
  4. 4. In Montana, Three in Ten Families with Children Are Not Married Overall, married couples headabout three in ten families withchildren in Montana. Seven in tenare single-parent families. Unmarried Families 30.8% Married Families 69.2%Source: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 3 • Marriage and Poverty in Montana
  5. 5. In Montana, Two-Thirds of Poor Families with Children Are Not Married Among poor families withchildren in Montana, two-thirdsare not married. By contrast, only33.6 percent of poor families withchildren are headed by marriedcouples. Married Families 33.6% Unmarried Families 66.4%Source: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 4 • Marriage and Poverty in Montana
  6. 6. In Montana, 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 7.8 percent ofout-of-wedlock births in Montana Underoccur to girls under age 18. Age 18: 7.8% By contrast, some 79 percent ofout-of-wedlock births occur to Ageyoung adult women between the 30–54:ages of 18 and 29. 13.3% Age 18–19: 16.7% Age 25–29: 21.8% Age 20–24: 40.4%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 Montana
  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% 6.6% Unmarrieddifficulty supporting children by 90% Mothersthemselves: those with low levelsof education. 33.8% 80% In Montana, among women 48.0%who are high school dropouts, 70% 71.3%about 71.3 percent of all births 60%occur outside marriage. Among Married 93.4%women who have only a high 50% Mothersschool diploma, nearly half ofbirths occur outside marriage. By 40% 66.2%contrast, among women with at 30%least a college degree, only 6.6 52.0%percent of births are out of wed- 20% 28.7%lock. 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 6 • Marriage and Poverty in Montana
  8. 8. Both Marriage and Education Are Highly Effective inReducing Child Poverty in Montana 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. 70%This is true even when the marriedcouple is compared to single par- 61.1% 60%ents with the same education level. For example, in Montana, the 50%poverty rate for a single mother 43.4% 41.4%who has only a high school 40%diploma is 43.4 percent, but thepoverty rate for a married couple 30%family headed by an individual 24.1%who, similarly, has only a high 20% 19.9%school degree is far lower at 12.2 12.2%percent. 10% 6.4% On average, marriage drops the 2.8%poverty rate by around 76 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 Montana
  9. 9. Unwed Birth Rates Vary Strongly by Race in Montana Out-of-wedlock childbearing PERCENT OF BIRTHS THAT ARE OUT OF WEDLOCKvaries considerably by race. 80% In 2008 (the most recent year 73.7%for which racial breakdown is 8.3%available), more than one-third of 70%all births (36.7 percent) in Mon-tana occurred outside marriage. 60%The rate was lowest among non- 52.8% 52.1%Hispanic whites. Among that 50%group, three in ten births werenon-marital. 40% 36.7% Among Hispanics and blacks,over half of births were out of 30.3%wedlock. Among American Indi- 30%ans, nearly three in every four(73.7 percent) births were out of 20%wedlock. 10%Source: U.S. Department of Health and 0%Human Services, Centers for Disease All Races White Hispanic Black AmericanControl and Prevention, 2008 NHS Non- Non- Indiandata. Hispanic Hispanic Chart 8 • Marriage and Poverty in Montana
  10. 10. Racial Composition of All Births and Out-of-Wedlock Births in Montana In Montana in 2008, some 82 ALL BIRTHS OUT-OF-WEDLOCK BIRTHSpercent of all births occurred towhite non-Hispanics, 10.6 percentoccurred to American Indians, and3.4 percent occurred to Hispanics. Because American Indians,blacks, and Hispanics are morelikely to have children withoutbeing married, they account fordisproportionately larger shares ofall out-of-wedlock births. 82.0% White Non- 67.8% Hispanic In Montana in 2008, 67.8 per-cent of all non-marital births wereto non-Hispanic whites, 21.2percent were to American Indianwomen, and 4.9 percent were toHispanic women. 21.2% 10.6% American Indian Hispanic 4.9% 3.4% 0.6% 3.4% Asian/Other 5.3% 0.8%Source: U.S. Department of Health and Black Non-HispanicHuman Services, Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention, 2008 NHSdata. Note: Figures have been rounded. Chart 9 • Marriage and Poverty in Montana
  11. 11. Non-Married White Families Are Seven Times More Likely to Be Poorin Montana Marriage leads to lower poverty PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORrates for whites, blacks, and His-panics. 35% For example, in 2009, the pov- 30.9%erty rate for married white familiesin Montana was 4.4 percent. But 30%the poverty rate for non-marriedwhite families was seven times 25%higher at 30.9 percent. 20% 15% 10% 5% 4.4% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 10 • Marriage and Poverty in Montana
  12. 12. Non-Married American Indian Families Are Nearly Three TimesMore Likely to Be Poor in Montana In 2009, the poverty rate for PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORmarried American Indian familiesin Montana was 19.7 percent, 60%while the poverty rate amongnon-married families was nearlythree times higher at 49.6 percent. 49.6% 50% 40% 30% 19.7% 20% 10% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 11 • Marriage and Poverty in Montana
  13. 13. Non-Married Hispanic Families Are Seven Times More Likely to Be Poorin Montana In 2009, the poverty rate for PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES THAT ARE POORHispanic married families in Mon-tana was 7.5 percent, while the 60%poverty rate among non-marriedfamilies was seven times higher at 51.4%51.4 percent. 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 7.5% 0% Married Families Non-Married FamiliesSource: U.S. Census Bureau, AmericanCommunity Survey, 2007–2009 data. Chart 12 • Marriage and Poverty in Montana
  14. 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. 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 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 •