Since 1999, studies have been conducted to monitor marriage in America. The published reports that derive from the studies are called “The State of Our Unions.” The 2012 report is now available and can be found online. “The State of Our Unions” focuses on the 60 percent of adults in America that have a high school diploma but do not have at least a four-year college degree. People who fall under this category are classified as “middle America.”
According to the authors of the annual report, 44 pecent of the children born to middle American parents are out of marriage. Brad Wilcox, one of the authors of the report wrote, “Marriage in Middle America is at a tipping point, with unwed childbearing threatening to become a new norm.” It is a generally accepted principle to believe that children who are born inside of wedlock have the best chance for a good upbringing. People who come from the conservative school of thought, or those who seek to preserve conventional family values are concerned that the new report provides a grim look for the future.
The authors of “The State of Our Unions” suggest several public policy recommendations for improving the marriage prospects in America. Some of those recommendations include tripling the child tax credit, eliminating “disincentives” for the poor and unwed mothers, and investing taxpayer money in marriage and relationship education programs.