How Much Would Marriage Improve The Financial Well-Being Of Young Children In Shelby County?

In this brief we examine the relationship between marriage and poverty for first-time single mothers and their children in Shelby County. In 2006, 2,599 children were born to first-time single mothers. 1,867 (71.7%) of these children were born into poverty. If their parents were to marry, 1,548 (59.5%) of all children born to first-time single mothers would be lifted out of poverty. With average incomes of $27,040, these families would remain low income after marriage.