Census Bureau: Traditional Families are Wealthier than Others

CNS News asks, “Why are married couples with kids wealthier than other Americans?” According to the Census Bureau:

Female householders in a nonfamily household had a median income of $26,673, according to the Census Bureau’s Table HINC-01. Male householders in a nonfamily household had a median income of $39,181. Unmarried-couple households with children under 18 had a median income of $50,283, according to Table HINC-04, and unmarried-couple households with no children under 18 had a median income of $64,645.

But married-couple households with no children under 18 had a median income of $76,000, and married-couple households with children under 18 had a median income of $87,728.

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Married-couple families were the most likely to be in the top bracket (32.4 percent were there) and least likely to be in the lowest (7 percent). Among nonfamily households, 35.3 percent were in the bottom bracket and 8.2 percent were in the highest.

A large majority of married-couple families — 58.8 percent — were in the top two brackets. An even larger majority of nonfamily households — 60.8 percent — were in the bottom two brackets.

So, why is it that the traditional family – that is, a husband, wife and kids – are much more likely to be wealthier than others?

What is it that the average single guy in his 20’s is concerned with these days? Maybe he’s got a job that pays fairly decently. Perhaps he’s the type to like to hit the club scene on the weekends and hit on girls. He’s not thinking so much about the future as he is the present. He just needs enough money to pay the rent and keep the lights working at his studio apartment and just enough to spend on drinks and club admittance and the occasional dinner date.

If that same guy feels himself getting older and decides that it’s time to settle down with a wife before he gets too fat and bald, he’ll start thinking more about the future. If he gets married, maybe their two incomes will be able to support a more comfortable lifestyle, a bigger house, a second or third car. They’ll both be thinking about their own futures, and saving up for their own retirement, so they can move to Florida and sip mojitos on the beach for the rest of their lives. They’re going to want to work a little more and invest a little more than when they were single.

Having kids complicates things even more though. Raising a family might seem like a lot more expenses, but it also provides the needed incentive to provide more for them. It’s true that having a family is more costly than not having a family, but having a family is often what forces the breadwinners to find additional sources of income. They take up a second job. They find a line of work that’s more consistent with their calling, and it makes them happier and wealthier.

Couples without kids don’t have the mindset that a married couple with kids has. That is, a married couple with kids is totally future-oriented. Not just about their own future, but the future of their children. They can’t focus on just their own retirements anymore. They’ve got to save up for their kids’ inheritances. They want to make sure their kids are taken care of while they’re at home, and that they’re ready for adulthood and all the responsibilities that come with it when they move out. That concern is translated into working more, and subsequently making more money.

It’s not out of greed for money. It’s out of love for their family.