Of course, the death of one’s spouse is another reason why an adult may not be married.
U.S. Census Bureau, 2005 American Community Survey.
Joyce A. Martin et al., “Births: Final Data for 2004,” National Vital Statistics Reports 55, no. 1
(September 29, 2006): 3.
4. W. Bradford Wilcox et al., Why Marriage Matters: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences (New York: Institute for American Values, 2005), 10–11, and Institute for American Values, The Marriage Movement: A Statement of Principles (New York: Institute for American Values, 2000), http://center.americanvalues.org/?p=19.
Institute for American Values, The Marriage Movement, 11.
T. Ooms, S. Bouchet, and M. Parke, Beyond Marriage Licenses: Efforts in States to Strengthen
Marriage and Two-Parent Families (Washington, DC: Center for Law and Social Policy, 2004). The wel- fare reform act of 1996 converted federal welfare funding (now known as TANF or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) into block grants to the states, becoming the first federal law explic- itly to promote marriage. Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), 42 U.S.C. 1305 (P.L. 104–193, Aug. 22, 1996). Three of the four purposes of the welfare reform law relate to marriage, giving the states broad latitude in the use of the welfare funds: (1) to provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; (2) to end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promot- ing job preparation, work and marriage; (3) to prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and (4) to encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.
7. 2007 Texas H.B. 2683, fiscal note, http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/. Data on Texas program also from personal communication with Bill Coffin, Special Assistant for Marriage Education at Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services.
8. Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, § 7103, P.L. 109–171 (codified at 42 U.S.C. 603(a)(2)). Allowable marriage activities under the marriage initiative include the following: (1) public advertising campaigns on the value of marriage and the skills needed to increase marital stability and health; (2) education in high schools on the value of marriage, relationship skills, and budgeting; (3) marriage education, marriage skills, and relationship skills programs, that may include parenting skills, financial manage- ment, conflict resolution, and job and career advancement, for non-married pregnant women and non- married expectant fathers; (4) premarital education and marriage skills training for engaged couples and for couples or individuals interested in marriage; (5) marriage enhancement and marriage skills training programs for married couples; (6) divorce reduction programs that teach relationship skills; (7) marriage mentoring programs which use married couples as role models and mentors in at-risk communities; and (8) programs to reduce the disincentives to marriage in means-tested aid programs, if offered in conjunction with any activity above.
9. To address this issue, we propose the following thought experiment: If all currently unmarried adult women were instead married (which would also mean all children now living with a single mother were instead living with two married parents), how much would taxpayers save? The amount that taxpayers would save if all single women (including mothers) married is the taxpayer cost of fam- ily fragmentation. (Again, we are not saying that all women should be married, rather that posing such a scenario helps us to capture the costs of family fragmentation.) Throughout the analysis, individu- als who are not married or who have experienced a divorce or a nonmarital birth are considered to be living in a “fragmented” family. As discussed below, we exclude all adults and children living with a male householder with no spouse present from the analysis only in the interest of creating a very cautious estimate of the taxpayer cost of family fragmentation. Further, as shown in table 2, single motherhood occurs much more frequently than single fatherhood. As discussed below, it is likely not theoretically possible (nor necessarily desirable) for all women to be married, and the analysis in this study takes this concern into account.
10. Lack of fulltime work seems to be the biggest cause of poverty in America with family frag- mentation being the second largest cause; see Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill, “Work and Marriage: The Way to End Poverty and Welfare,” Policy Brief, Welfare Reform & Beyond #28 (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 2003). See also Paul Amato, “The Impact of Family Formation Change on the Cognitive, Social and Emotional Well-Being of the Next Generation,” The Future of Children 15, no. 2 (Fall 2005): 75–96; Wilcox et al., Why Marriage Matters; K. A. Moore et al, “Marriage from a Child’s Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect Children and What Can We Do about It?” Child Trends Research Brief, June 2002; Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur, Growing Up with a Single Parent: What Helps, What Hurts (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994).