Marriage doesn't ensure kids not poor

Nov. 10, 2012 at 11:56 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Marriage alone does not ensure economic security and most Americans with below-poverty incomes who are raising children are married, researchers say.

Shawn Fremstad of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and author of the report "Married ... without Means," said policy makers often claim marriage is a way out of poverty.

For instance, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said during his second debate with President Obama Americans should "tell our kids that before they have babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone -- that's a great idea because if there's a two-parent family, the prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically."

The report found in 2010, however, there were 7 million married, non-elderly adults with incomes below the federal poverty line -- an income of $22,113 for a family of four, Fremstad said.

Among non-elderly parents caring for minor children, 43 percent were married and another 6 percent were married but currently separated. Slightly less than 40 percent had never been married, the report said.

Fremstad said almost two-thirds of "prime-age adults" ages 30-49 living below the contemporary poverty line had been married at some point.

The report also said married adults who raise children were 56 percent more likely to have below-poverty incomes than married adults without children.

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