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Is Marriage Declining Due to Income Inequality?

Who knew that success in marriage would be largely defined by wealth? It's hardly a new concept in our day and age, but statistically, with the wealth gap and income inequality getting much, much worse in our nation, we're seeing a proportional statistic regarding whether or not couples stay married. Better yet, it seems couples these days are not getting married at all! They're completely foregoing the American institution altogether. Why? Because of money.

Couple's Hands

We're seeing a decline of marriages while non-married families and single parents grow in our nation due to income inequality. The lower-middle class, these days, can't seem to invest in a household along with the futures of their children, hence marriages don't seem to last – or ever start, for that matter. This poses no surprise when hearing the adage that families with much more wealth tend to survive and end up successful with stability whereas the lesser-wealth families do not.

Why does it have to be all about money, though? Quite frankly, marriage is costly. Childrearing is costly. Put those two together, and you have two parents working hard to make those hard-to-meet ends actually meet, whereas possibly separating might be a better financial option (possibly). That, however, often wouldn't be the best option due to the cost of attorneys, experts, and court fees, so quite often parents will forego any decision to marry at all and simply live in a household, tending to their children.

This isn't an editorial, though, on whether or not that's morally right or acceptable. It just happens to be the trend these days, often fueled by paychecks, 401ks, or the lack thereof. Whatever the case, we can expect that the more the gap between the upper class and middle class widens, the less we can expect churches to manage ceremonies for brides and grooms all over the U.S.