Marital Status and Earnings
 

   

Men of all ages earn more money if they are married. In 2002, one-half of married men ages 15 to 24 earned at least $20,000 in the previous year. In contrast, only one in eight never-married men in that age group earned $20,000 or more. The same pattern occurs among men ages 35 to 44, with married men earning more than their never-married counterparts.

Like married men, married women have higher personal earnings than women who have never married, but only at younger ages. About 18 percent of young, married women (ages 15 to 24) earned at least $20,000 in 2001, compared with 9 percent of young, never-married women. However, among women ages 35 to 44, never-married women had higher personal earnings than their married counterparts. Married women in this age group are more likely to have access to other sources of income — their spouses' earnings — so there is less pressure for them to work full-time in the labor force compared with women who have never married.

References

AmeriStat, tabulations from the Census Bureau’s 2002 Current Population Survey (March Supplement); and P.N. Cohen and S. Bianchi, "Marriage, Children, and Women's Employment: What Do We Know?" Monthly Labor Review 122, no. 12 (1999).

 

 
Marital status by earnings, age and gender, 2001
 
       
               
Men ages 15-24              
               
  Less_than_$10,000 $10,000_$19,999 $20,000_$29,999 $30,000_$39,999 $40,000_or_more $20,000_or_more Total
Married                 264,232              427,123              334,380             196,828 146601 677809 1369163
% 19.3 31.2 24.4 14.4 10.70734456 49.50535473 100
Previously married                 116,402               35,104                30,785                 9,237 18409 58431.4 209937
% 55.4 16.7 14.7 4.4 8.768821123 27.83282604 100
Never married  13,337,352 2,675,847 1,272,275 644,728 404557 2321560 18334758
% 72.7 14.6 6.9 3.5 2.20650308 12.66207059 100
Total  13,717,985 3,138,074 1,637,439 850,793 569567 3057799 19913858
% 68.9 15.8 8.2 4.3 2.9 15.4 100.0
               
Men ages 35-44              
               
  Less_than_$10,000 $10,000_$19,999 $20,000_$29,999 $30,000_$39,999 $40,000_or_more $20,000_or_more Total
Married  1,170,889 1,291,240 2,110,449 2,300,623 7,843,788 12,254,860 14,716,990
% 8.0 8.8 14.3 15.6 53.3 83.3 100.0
Previously married                 525,123              385,511              594,605             539,919               940,271            2,074,795            2,985,428
% 17.6 12.9 19.9 18.1 31.5 69.5 100.0
Never married  1,133,561 591,649 696,984 556,173 1,141,690 2,394,847 4,120,057
% 27.5 14.4 16.9 13.5 27.7 58.1 100.0
Total  2,829,574 2,268,400 3,402,038 3,396,715 9,925,749 16,724,502 21,822,475
% 13.0 10.4 15.6 15.6 45.5 76.6 100.0
               
Women ages 15-24              
               
  Less_than_$10,000 $10,000_$19,999 $20,000_$29,999 $30,000_$39,999 $40,000_or_more $20,000_or_more Total
Married  1,464,831 565,039 266,659 130,852 40,115 437,626 2,467,496
% 59.4 22.9 10.8 5.3 1.6 17.7 100.0
Previously married                 258,201               80,491                34,282               20,272                   7,539                 62,093               400,785
% 64.4 20.1 8.6 5.1 1.9 15.5 100.0
Never married  12,964,838 2,189,891 978,609 327,013 206,229 1,511,851 16,666,580
% 77.8 13.1 5.9 2.0 1.2 9.1 100.0
Total  14,687,871 2,835,422 1,279,550 478,137 253,883 2,011,570 19,534,862
% 75.2 14.5 6.6 2.4 1.3 10.3 100.0
               
Women ages 35-44              
               
  Less_than_$10,000 $10,000_$19,999 $20,000_$29,999 $30,000_$39,999 $40,000_or_more $20,000_or_more Total
Married  5,613,070 2,582,776 2,362,095 1,825,488 2,872,930 7,060,513 15,256,359
% 36.8 16.9 15.5 12.0 18.8 46.3 100.0
Previously married  1,151,736 910,247 871,153 579,846               755,735            2,206,734            4,268,718
% 27.0 21.3 20.4 13.6 17.7 51.7 100.0
Never married                 828,757              497,930              521,789             446,475 641,379 1,609,643 2,936,329
% 28.2 17.0 17.8 15.2 21.8 54.8 100.0
Total  7,593,562 3,990,953 3,755,038 2,851,809 4,270,044 10,876,891 22,461,407
% 33.8 17.8 16.7 12.7 19.0 48.4 100.0
               

Source: AmeriStat, analysis of data from the 2002 Current Population Survey (March Supplement).