For the richer, not the poorer: marriage as a class affair
Across Europe, 84% of better-off parents (top fifth by income) are married, whereas 42% of worse-off parents (bottom fifth by income) are married.The marriage gap varies from 1.4 times in Portugal and Slovenia to 3.8 times in Denmark and the Czech Republic.Marriage is most common across the Mediterranean countries, where 87% of the richest are married compared to 53% of the poorest.Even in ‘socially liberal’ Scandinavia, 75% of the richest parents are married. However, only 30% of their poorest parents are married.
Among parents, roughly eight out of ten who are married when their child is born will still be together when their child takes his or her GCSEs [school leaving exam]. If the parents don’t marry, the odds of staying together while bringing up a child plummet to three out of ten. That’s a pretty big gap.
“Across Europe, couples who don’t marry are far more likely to split up than those who do, even after controls for age, education, religion, partner and parental divorce, and the presence of children. (Dronkers, 2015)“The consequences of instability are far reaching for both adult and child outcomes. UK data, for example, shows that lone parents are seven times more likely than couple parents to rely on state benefits, and the children of lone parents are twice as likely to have problems with their health or at school (Maplethorpe et al, 2010).”
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MercatorNet: For the richer, not the poorer: marriage as a class affair