"The principal cause of child poverty in the U.S. is the absence of married fathers in the home. According to the U.S Census, the poverty rate in 2008 for single parents with children was 35.6 percent. The rate for married couples with children was 6.4 percent. Being raised in a married family reduces a child’s probability of living in poverty by about 80 percent. Even when married couples are compared to single parents with the same education level, the married poverty rate will still be about 70 percent lower. Marriage is a powerful weapon in fighting poverty. In fact, being married has the same effect in reducing poverty as adding five to six years to a parent’s education level."
"At the beginning of the War on Poverty, a young Daniel Patrick Moynihan (later Ambassador to the United Nations and Senator from New York), serving in the Administration of President Lyndon Johnson, wrote a seminal report on the negative effects of declining marriage among blacks. The Left exploded, excoriating Moynihan and insisting that the erosion of marriage was either unimportant or benign. Four decades later, Moynihan’s predictions have been vindicated. The erosion of marriage has spread to whites and Hispanics with devastating results. But the taboo on discussing the link between poverty and the disappearance of husbands remains as firm as it was four decades ago."
"To reduce poverty in America, policymakers should enact policies that encourage people to form and maintain healthy marriage and delay childbearing until they are married and economically stable. Marriage is highly beneficial to children, adults, and society. It needs to be encouraged and strengthened, not ignored and undermined."
For more, see http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/06/Married-Fathers-Americas-Greatest-Weapon-Against-Child-Poverty.
"Robert Rector is a leading national authority on poverty, the U.S.welfare system and immigration and is a Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow. "
"Dubbed the "intellectual godfather" of welfare reform by National Review Editor Rich Lowry, Rector concentrates on a range of issues relating to welfare reform, family breakdown and America’s various social ills. "
Dr. Patrick Fagan is another excellent writer on these topics. You can also take a look at his publications at http://www.heritage.org/About/Staff/F/Patrick-Fagan:
Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability
The Impact of Marriage and Divorce on Children
Marriage: Still the Safest Place For Women and Children
and more at http://www.heritage.org/About/Staff/F/Patrick-Fagan.
(For the complete article, see http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/06/Married-Fathers-Americas-Greatest-Weapon-Against-Child-Poverty.)