The U.S. Economy Needs Healthy Marriages

The National Marriage Project of the University of Virginia examined demographic data and issued a report that concluded that U.S. economic growth depends upon healthy marriages and stable families.  The report entitled, The Sustainable Demographic Dividend, says that when people marry and have families several sectors of the economy are affected such as health care, household supplies and services, personal and life insurance, child care, among others.  So companies like Proctor and Gamble, Target and Home Depot are negatively impacted when fertility rates are down.  When they are high, these sectors of the economy flourish.

Huffpost writer Stephanie Hallett asks a pivotal question, “What is it about marriage as an institution that has such a profound effect on the economy?”  Researchers found that “marriage seems to help men become more responsible, more strategic in their thinking and more oriented towards the long term rather than just having a good time in the present.”  They are thinking of the welfare of the entire family rather than just of themselves.  Woman tend to accumulate more wealth when pooling with their husbands, and couples take a longer term orientation towards their finances.  Cohabitation has less of a degree of committment and long term orientation which are two variables that support stability.

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