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August 2, 2023

The Best Predictor of Happiness in America? Marriage

Americans who are married with children are now leading happier and more prosperous lives, on average, than men and women who are single and childless. Is that statement surprising? In an age that prizes individualism, workism, and a host of other self-centric “isms” above marriage and family, it may well be. But the reality is that nothing currently predicts…

June 11, 2023

Now Political Polarization Comes for Marriage Prospects

Marriage rates in America are falling fast: Many men and women are marrying later, and more and more people are never marrying at all. Marriage is in retreat for a host of reasons, but one overlooked cause is the rising difficulty many young people have finding a partner who meets all of their requirements—emotional, physical, financial, and political. That last…

May 26, 2023

The Power of the Success Sequence

Introduction The “Success Sequence,” a formula to help young adults succeed in America, has been discussed widely in recent years, including by Brookings Institution scholars Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill. The formula involves three steps: get at least a high school education, work full time, and marry before having children. Among Millennials who followed this…

May 25, 2023

Education Freedom and Work Opportunities as Catalysts for Increasing the Birth Rate Among Married Couples

Summary Pursuing new, commonsense approaches to education reform and work–family policies, from childcare and early education through higher education and workforce flexibility, will foster the conditions for family flourishing and increase birth rates for married couples. Affordable childcare from a variety of providers, including at-home options, access to high-quality K–12 education that reflects a family’s…

May 25, 2023

Education Freedom and Work Opportunities as Catalysts for Increasing the Birth Rate Among Married Couples

Summary Pursuing new, commonsense approaches to education reform and work–family policies, from childcare and early education through higher education and workforce flexibility, will foster the conditions for family flourishing and increase birth rates for married couples. Affordable childcare from a variety of providers, including at-home options, access to high-quality K–12 education that reflects a family’s…

February 2, 2023

Prioritizing Money Over Marriage, Today’s Parents Are Making a Big Mistake

As parents of teens, we have kids who are beginning to think about their adult future—including college, career and family. One recent conversation Alysse had with her 17-year-old daughter is indicative of the pressure many young people feel to prioritize career and income. “Why do I have to choose a career path right now?” her daughter…

May 26, 2022

Realizing the Dream: What Does the Success Sequence Have to Do with the Economic Welfare of Black and Hispanic Young Adults?

Event Transcript Event Summary On May 26, a panel of experts discussed a new report published by AEI and the Institute for Family Studies on the effectiveness of the success sequence for minorities and low-income Americans. AEI’s W. Bradford Wilcox and Wendy Wang of the Institute for Family Studies highlighted new data suggesting that, contrary…

October 19, 2021

The Divided State of Our Unions

Executive Summary Where is the American family headed as COVID-19 finally seems to be abating? Focusing on family formation in the United States, this report considers three possibilities: (a) the “decadence-deepens scenario,” where marriage and fertility fall further in the wake of the pandemic; (b) the “renaissance scenario,” where men and women turn towards family…