Study: Married Couples Aren’t Necessarily Better Off

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Categories: Dating and Relationships

While many people think that married couples enjoy greater financial benefits than cohabitating couples or men and women living alone, a new study from the Pew Research Center suggests the opposite.

"When we started writing this report, we thought that people who were married, and not those just living with each other, would be better off. But that's not the case," D'Vera Cohn, the study's co-author, told CNN.

According to a Pew analysis of U.S. Census numbers, cohabiting couples with a college degree (ages 30 – 44) earned an average of $106,400 in 2009. Educated married couples, on the other hand, earned $101,160. College-educated men and women without a live-in partner had a median household income of $90,067.

However, cohabitating couples don’t always have a leg up. The study also found that among people without a college degree, unmarried men and women who live alone have "greater economic well-being" than men and women who live together. It all comes down to a college degree.

Despite the surprising findings, Cohn says the figures don’t mean Americans are less interested in getting married. Most cohabitating couples, in fact, plan to one day tie the knot.

"We asked people living together if they thought of this as a step toward marriage,” Cohn said. “More than two-thirds said they did, and the numbers increased by income level."

As a college-educated individual who has both cohabited with a partner and lived with a spouse (also college educated) I can’t say I’ve seen an economic benefit either way. In fact, according to the income states listed above my husband and I must be doing something terribly, terribly wrong. What are your experiences?

Source: CNN

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