Issues

Families

The past century saw dramatic changes in family structure that have immense economic effects. As women have increasingly entered the workforce, they have become more financially independent, making marriage less of an economic necessity. Marriage rates have been in decline since the 1970s, and they are more sharply declining for men and women with less education. However, correlations have been found between marriage and economic success. More people, too, are having children outside of marriage. The unintended pregnancy rate is falling, but still almost half of all pregnancies are unintended—and the consequences for the parents, children and society are enormous. This section of the Spotlight website gathers the latest research, news and opinion on the role of family well-being in fighting poverty.