Being raised in a married family reduces a child's probability of living in poverty by more than 80 percent, according to a report by The Heritage Foundation which found the chief cause of child poverty is the absence of married fathers in the home.
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"Some of this difference in poverty is due to the fact that single parents tend to have less education than married couples, but even when married couples are compared to single parents with the same level of education, the married poverty rate will still be more than 75 percent lower," Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, wrote.
"Marriage is a powerful weapon in fighting poverty. In fact, being married has the same effect in reducing poverty that adding five to six years to a parent's level of education has," Rector wrote in "Marriage: America's Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty," released Sept. 5.
In 2010, only 59 percent of all births in the United States were to married couples, the report said. Out-of-wedlock births often are confused with teen pregnancy and births, Rector noted. But few out-of-wedlock births occur to teenagers. Three-quarters of out-of-wedlock births in 2008 in the United States were to women between the ages of 19 and 29.
"The decline in marriage and growth in out-of-wedlock births is not a teenage issue; it is the result of a breakdown in relationships between young adult men and women," Rector wrote.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press