New research shows marriage holds the key to happiness

The institution of marriage has been maligned, redefined, and condemned as an outdated and repressive institution that is fundamentally outdated in our post-Christian society. Increasingly, people are getting married much later – or not at all. And yet virtually every data set reveals, time and again, that marriage and family make people fundamentally happier.

New research has affirmed once again that Americans who are married with children are happier and more prosperous than those who are single and childless – and that “nothing currently predicts happiness in life better than a good marriage.” From Unherd:

This truth is borne out yet again in new research from the University of Chicago, which found that marriage is the ‘the most important differentiator’ of who is happy in America, and that falling marriage rates are a chief reason why happiness has declined nationally. The research, surveying thousands of respondents, revealed a startling 30-percentage-point happiness divide between married and unmarried Americans. This happiness boost held true for both men and women.

‘Marital status is and has been a very important marker for happiness,’ researcher Sam Peltzman concludes. ‘The happiness landslide comes entirely from the married. Low happiness characterizes all types of non-married. No subsequent population categorization will yield so large a difference in happiness across so many people.’

Again, this should not be surprising. Data set after data set affirms this fact – research also indicates that religious conservatives who wait to have sex have the happiest marriages, and that couples who do not live together before marriage are more likely to have a successful marriage.

In other words, the closer we adhere to God’s plan for marriage the happier we are likely to be. In fact, Peltzman states that happiness has declined since 2000, and that the “recent decline in the married share of adults can explain (statistically) most of the recent decline in overall happiness.” Peltzman concurs with Dr. Jean Twenge’s analysis of the General Social Survey, which found that the “decline in marriage among working-class and poor Americans is one of the biggest factors explaining the growing happiness divide between the privileged and unprivileged.”


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