Strong Families, Prosperous States

A brand new AEI study looks at the connection between marriage and family structure and the performance of state economies. The researchers found:

  • Higher levels of marriage, and especially higher levels of married-parent families, are strongly associated with more economic growth, more economic mobility, less child poverty, and higher median family income at the state level in the United States.
  • The share of parents in a state who are married is one of the top predictors of the economic outcomes studied in this report. In fact, this family factor is generally a stronger predictor of economic mobility, child poverty, and median family income in the American states than are the educational, racial, and age compositions of the states.
  • The state-level link between marriage and economic growth is stronger for younger adults (ages 25–35) than for older adults (36–59), suggesting that marriage plays a particularly important role in fostering a positive labor market orientation among young men.
  • Violent crime is much less common in states with larger shares of families headed by married parents, even after controlling for a range of socio-demographic factors at the state level.

Important stuff. Check it out.


1 thought on “Strong Families, Prosperous States”

  1. I’m curious how they determined the direction of causality. How do they know marriage causes economic growth and mobility rather than economic growth and mobility facilitating marriage (and particularly younger marriage)?

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