Report Discovers Growing ‘Marriage Gap’ Among Rich, Poor Canadians

A recently released report has found that there is an increasing so-called “marriage gap” in Canada, explaining that it means that the wealthiest Canadians are most likely married or living common law, whereas on the other hand the poorest are expected to be single.

The report authored by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada boasts that it is the first-ever analysis of marriage and income completed in Canada. It states that marriage rates among the wealthiest Canadians, or the top 25 per cent of income earners, “remained remarkably stable” over the 30 years studied, i.e. 1976 to 2011. Whereas, the number of married and common law couples lying in middle- and low-income earners declined significantly. It was added that in the last year of data included in the study, i.e. 2011, 86 per cent of the top quartile of income earners reported being married or in a common law relationship while only 12 per cent in the bottom quartile reported being married or living common law.

According to a senior researcher, Peter Jon Mitchell, the “marriage gap” is an important analysis because research has found that marriage offers a variety of economic and social benefits. He explained that “a diverse group of scholars have noted that married couples seem to build more wealth on average and seem to be better protected against poverty.” It was added that “marriage helps secure friend and family networks in times of need such as job loss or the loss of a family member. And stable married families also serve as an avenue for social mobility for children.”

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