A Canadian study has shown that married couples are more economically successful than their unmarried counterparts.
The study, which was completed by The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, included familes from different age groups.
The researchers found that a large majority of higher income families were married.
82 percent of higher income families were married, compared with only 49 percent of middle income families. The study also showed that low income families are the least likely to be married, with only 12 percent in this group being married.
Lower income women were shown to be the most likely group to marry and divorce at a younger age.
Senior researcher and study co-author Peter Jon Mitchell said:
“Across all age levels, income is the predictor as to whether somebody is going to be married or not. But it’s not primarily a public policy problem or something for government to solve. It’s probably more of a cultural issue that speaks to how we understand and ‘do’ marriage.”
Researchers believe that there have been wide-reaching changes in social expectations of marriage. Individuals who are higher earners are more likely to marry someone with the same earning power as themselves, and often postpone marriage until education and career goals have been reached.
“Marriage used to be the cornerstone on which you built your life: You got out of high school, got married, then built your career. Now, younger Canadians see it more as a capstone: obtain education, find steady employment, maybe invest in a house, and then see marriage as an arrival point.