The breakdown of marriage and the family are closely associated with the welfare state. Unwed childbearing and marital decline have consequences for individuals as well as the next generation. A research paper called A Closer Look at Welfare from the Heritage Foundation details some of the interesting social costs of behavioral poverty and welfare dependence.
Here are a few of their findings:
- Men who grow up in a welfare family are 39% less likely to marry the mother of their own baby.
- Women whose families receive welfare are three times more likely to be on welfare themselves,
- Earlier sexual activity is linked to higher levels of child and maternal poverty. (Nearly three times more women who began sexual activity at age 13 or 14 were in poverty as adults than women who abstained until the age of 21.)
- Women are more likely to live under the poverty line after a divorce than men,
- Parental divorce increases the likelihood that a daughter will be on welfare later in life,
- Women who have a child in their teens are less likely to marry and more likely to live in poverty,
- Single mothers who marry are less likely to be in poverty than their unwed peers and near equal with continuously married parents.