According to Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, marriage is losing ground among Americans who are not college-educated. Those who are college-educated stay married longer and have more marital stability.
This marriage gap is becoming a greater concern in America. You can hear more about it from Mr. Wilcox in this video report:
Here’s the script of the video:
VOICE-OVER: Marriage in America is developing a gap, particularly for individuals who are not college-educated.
BRADFORD WILCOX: “Marriage is losing ground, but it’s important for us to realize it’s only losing ground among Americans who are not college-educated. Among those who are college-educated we are seeing actually more stability, less divorce, we’re seeing comparatively low levels of non-married child-bearing. But for Americans who don’t have a college degree, we’re seeing dramatic increases particularly in non-married child-bearing and family instability.”
VOICE-OVER: Bradford Wilcox, who is the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, shared the latest research on marriage during a breakfast briefing in Salt Lake City. Wilcox said a recent study shows marriage is in trouble in poor communities and there are fewer fathers in the working class, which is having a negative impact on children.
WILCOX: “Kids bear the biggest prices when their parents don’t get and stay married, and we’re seeing more family instability, more single parenthood among Americans who don’t have a college degree. We’re seeing more family stability for kids whose parents are college-educated.”
VOICE-OVER: In addition to finding that Americans with college degrees are more marriage-friendly, Wilcox said they are also more likely to attend church regularly and more stable overall.
WILCOX: “Americans who don’t have strong economic fortunes, who aren’t connected to a church community, and who don’t have the same kind of marriage-friendly values are now less likely to get and stay married.”
VOICE-OVER: So what should we be doing to strengthen marriage in America?
WILCOX: “In terms of the economic piece, I think we need to do a better job of shoring up the economic foundations of marriage for working-class and poor families – particularly in providing better economic opportunities for working-class and poor men. Things like improving vocational education, for instance, to connect men to better-paying jobs that will support them and their families. On the political front and the legal front, I think we need to end the marriage penalty that exists for many poor and working-class couples, where they are more likely to pay a penalty if they get married. And on the cultural front, I think we need to get the message out to ordinary Americans that marriage matters, particularly for their kids, and that dads matter for their kids.”
VOICE-OVER: For Sutherland Institute, I’m Alexis Young, reminding you that public policy changes lives.