They say “if our neighbours are married we are more likely to be married ourselves. In richer areas everyone across all social classes is more likely to be married, regardless of how well off they are“.
Across England and Wales the average marriage rate for people in socio-economic groups A & B is 79%.
Twenty council have higher proportions of married couples in these socio-economic groups.
- Harrow – 88%
- Wokingham – 87%
- Surrey & West Berkshire – 86%
- Buckinghamshire – 85%
- Barnet – 85%
At the opposite end of the socio-economic scale the marriage rate in Liverpool and Knowsley among socio-economic groups D & E (manual and non-workers) is only 25%.
No more than 30% of parents with dependent children in the bottom 20 council areas were married. The average rate for marriage in these groups is 37%.
- Liverpool & Knowsley – 25%
- Salford, Blackpool, Wirral & Lambeth – 27
Experts believe that children from unmarried families have to contend with yet another factor which influences their life chances, inequality and social mobility.
A child born in 2017 has only a 50% chance of living with both parents by the time they reach fifteen. Of those parents who do stay together until their children reach fifteen, 93% are married.
And while there may not be a causal effect between being married and being rich if you don’t want your children to grow up poor you need to find a partner willing to work full-time according to Frank Field, a politician with a long interest in social inequality and fairness. Perhaps wealthier couples have more to lose if they split up so stay together longer regardless off how poor their relationship is. If you don’t have a lot to start with then you don’t have a lot to lose and you might be better off single and on benefits.
As my earlier post said, staying married might depend on how much you agree about money matters