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Research published by the St. Louis Federal Reserve showed that married men stand to out-earn their single counterparts by a sizable amount.
Researchers looked specifically at employed people between ages 20 and 64 with at least a high school diploma, using data from 2016.
Wages among married men “dominated” other groups, the study found.
“Married men earn higher wages than single or married women, and married men earn higher wages than single men,” researchers wrote.
Married men experienced higher peak earnings than other groups – with peak earnings for white men at $90,000 and peak earnings for black men at $62,000, which are both above the average.
Married white men worked the longest hours – but only slightly more than single white men and married black men. White men earned “significantly more” money per hour, whereas other groups earned comparable wages.
On the flip side, single black men and single black women earned the least – on average – across all groups.
The pattern did not hold true for married women, who earned similar incomes to their single counterparts.
Researchers could not explain why marital status correlated with income, and noted that it was subject to change throughout one individual’s lifetime.
“The analysis … shows that even though important differences in earnings among genders and races exist, the true outliers on the earnings scale are more evident by their marital status,” researchers wrote, while questioning whether married men were more productive or more productive men were more likely to be married.
Marriage rates hit an all-time low in 2018, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, falling to 6.5 marriages per 1,000 people. A decline in the marriage rate, however, has been observed since the 1980s.
Rates have shown a particular decline among minorities and those in middle and lower economic quintiles.
As previously reported by FOX Business there are a number of financial benefits couples can enjoy if they tie the knot – including federal tax and retirement benefits.
Overall, marriage has been linked to higher economic growth and economic mobility within states.