Is Marriage Only For Rich People?

by Maisie Allison

In his new book, Charles Murray calls marriage "the fault line" between rich and poor. New research from the Hamilton Project identifies a strong correlation between income and marriage: 

While marriage rates have dropped as a whole over the last few decades, there’s been much a steeper decline in marriage among low-income Americans. Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney suggest that one reason for that drop is that labor-market changes that have altered marriage prospects for those trying to make ends meet, countering conservative claims that social norms and values are responsible for the trend. 

Catherine Rampell adds

Whatever the case, the concentration of marriage among the richest Americans is amplifying the increase in income inequality. Rich men are marrying rich women, creating doubly rich households for them and their children. And the poor are staying poor and alone.