Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Marriage Makes Men Richer

Interesting Time magazine article discuss a study using Census data to conclude that college-educated men sustain the greatest economic benefit from marriage.

How's this for unintended consequences? Some of the biggest beneficiaries of the women's movement have been married men. According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, married men have a 60% higher median household income than they did in 1970, even adjusted for inflation. Unmarried men, on the other hand, only got a 16% bump.

The reason for the rise is that more men are marrying women who make more money than they do, mainly because there are more high-income women to go around. In 1970, just 4% of men ages 30 to 44 had wives who brought in more bacon than they did. By 2007, more than a fifth (22%) of men in that age bracket have wives who out-earn them. Members of this thriving demographic are effectively doubling their income or more when they wed, without doubling their costs.

The study, which drew on household income data from the Decennial Census and the 2007 American Community Survey, conducted annually by the U.S. Census Bureau, showed that the biggest gainers were married, college-educated men. The biggest losers were unmarried men who did not complete high school or who only had a high school diploma. After adjusting for inflation, the 2007 cohort had lower household incomes than their 1970 counterparts. "The steeper decline in marriage among the less educated has contributed to a steeper decline in their income," says one of the study's authors, D'Vera Cohn.

Read the full article here.


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Here is the link to the original Pew study:

Posted by: Margaret Ryznar | Feb 1, 2010 8:15:55 PM

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