Video: Marriage gap linked to lack of college education

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.