Marriage rates are declining, leaving more adults single and more likely to never get married. Meanwhile, a quarter of parents living in the U.S. are unmarried. Women today have greater control over their educational and occupational choices as well as family life. However, as they get older, women find fewer options for relationships and a ticking biological clock eroding their fertility.
A large and growing share of young working-age women finds themselves single and childless whether by choice or circumstances. Increasingly, the media glorifies the financial, social, and even health outcomes of unmarried, childless women. Meanwhile, they downplay — and even omit — the outcomes of married women and married women with children. Do women earn a bigger payoff by forgoing marriage and motherhood? Is there a marriage penalty? How do the financial situations of unmarried mothers compare? By examining economic data on earnings, wealth, savings, and taxes, we’ll discuss whether motherhood and marriage are a penalty or payoff.
- Bloomberg: Women Who Stay Single and Don’t Have Kids Are Getting Richer
- New York Post: How ‘free’ government money actually harms its recipients
- Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta: Is Our Fiscal System Discouraging Marriage? A New Look at the Marriage Tax
- SSRN: How Effective Is (More) Money? Randomizing Unconditional Cash Transfer Amounts in the US
- Institute for Family Studies: The Real Housewives of America: Dad’s Income and Mom’s Work
- The Spectator: What does Gen Z have against motherhood?
- The Conversation: Fertility treatment use is on the rise – new legislation could increase protections for donors and families in an industry shrouded in secrecy
- Sharp Health News: Pregnancy at a later age: what women should know
- Tax Policy Center: What are marriage penalties and bonuses?
- IWF: Good News! Poverty Falls as More Women Work
- IWF: Let’s Talk Marriage Penalties