Married people more economically successful, study claims

Family|News|Relationships|February 28th 2014

An overwhelming majority of high earning families are married, a Canadian study suggests.

The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada examined the income of families in different age groups. Eighty six per cent of those earning higher incomes were married, compared to only 49 per cent of those in the middle income range and just 12 per cent of those earning low incomes.

Senior researcher and study co-author Peter Jon Mitchell said:

“Across all age levels, income is the predictor as to whether somebody is going to be married or not. But it’s not primarily a public policy problem or something for government to solve. It’s probably more of a cultural issue that speaks to how we understand and ‘do’ marriage.”

He cited changes in social expectations of marriage, with an increasing tendency for higher earners to marry each other and to postpone marriage until education and career goals have been reached.

Lower income women are more likely to both marry young and to divorce, according to the study.

Peter Mitchell added:

“Marriage used to be the cornerstone on which you built your life: You got out of high school, got married, then built your career. Now, younger Canadians see it more as a capstone: obtain education, find steady employment, maybe invest in a house, and then see marriage as an arrival point.”

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