The marriage gap between rich and poor parents
From a briefing paper by The Marriage Foundation
The Marriage Foundation has found that a marriage gap between rich and poor parents exists throughout Europe, contrasting marriage rates between top and bottom income quintiles.
They found that that 82% of the richest parents across Europe are married compared to 42% of the poorest parents. In all twenty countries examined, rich parents were consistently more likely to be married than poor parents, the ratio ranging from 3.8 times more likely in Denmark and the Czech Republic to 1.4 times more likely in Portugal and Slovenia.
The marriage gap in Britain is 2.1 times, just above the 1.9 times mean for Europe: 84% of better-off parents in Britain are married compared to 40% of worse-off parents. Britain has the highest proportion of married better-off adults in Europe at 69%, compared to 32% of the poorest.
This analysis shows that the trend away from marriage, and stability that it brings, is closely linked to lower income. Policy solutions aimed at reducing family breakdown must therefore focus on increasing stability, commitment and marriage among lower income groups.
Download the briefing paper here
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