But there’s a consequence to waiting to get married.
“The biggest downside to delayed marriage in America is that many young adults are now putting the baby carriage before marriage,” said report co-author and National Marriage Project director Bradford Wilcox, a U.Va. sociology professor. “What they often don’t realize is that children born outside of marriage are significantly more likely to be exposed to a revolving cast of caretakers and the social, emotional and financial fallout associated with family instability and single parenthood.”
“The study is “a growing body of research into the impact of delayed marriage as the median age when people marry has risen to 27 for women and 29 for men,” reports The Washington Post’s Carol Morello.
The study found that women enjoy an annual income premium if they wait until age 30 or later to marry. According to the report: “Women with a college degree who wait to marry until at least thirty, and high-school-educated women without a degree who also wait until thirty, earn more than those who marry at younger ages. In fact, this report finds that they earn $18,152 and $4,052 more per year, compared to their sisters who marry before twenty.”
However “as marriage gets delayed to later ages, the odds of having a child outside of marriage increase. Indeed, in the United States, 48 percent of all first births are now to unmarried women,” the report found.
“This pattern of putting parenthood before marriage has long been observed in lower-income households, but ‘Knot Yet’ notes – with some alarm – that the trend is now spreading to middle-income households,” wrote Karen Kaplan for The Los Angeles Times. “Regardless of what you think about the morality of this, there are data that suggest children born to unmarried parents are at several disadvantages compared with their peers with married parents.
Kapan points out that the “Knot Yet” report cites other research in a journal produced by Princeton and the Brookings Institution called “The Future of Children,” which found that among other things “children suffer financial, academic and emotional consequences when their parents are not in stable relationships and romantic partners come and go.”
The Color of Money Question of the Week: What do you think of the findings in “Knot Yet” study? (Just a suggestion: Read the full report first.)
Send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Knot Yet” in the subject line and include your full name, city and state.
Schools Suing Students
If you’ve got student loans and aren’t paying your bill your college might come after you.
This week the “Today Show” ran a segment about the growing rate at which students are defaulting on their loans and the measures schools are taking to collect the debt.