The One Thing You Can Do to Boost the American Economy
NEW YORK (MainStreet) Add up all the bar tabs, fast food and online dating subscriptions, and the cost of being single can be a real pain in the pocketbook. And unmarried Americans generally spend more on taxes, healthcare and housing. But with all that said, the one thing you can do to most directly boost the U.S. economy is get married.
Married Americans spend more, or at least they say they do. In a recent survey of 130,000 adults, Gallup asked Americans to report how much money they spent the previous day, excluding payments for normal household bills and major purchases such as homes and cars. Married Americans reported shelling out $102, followed by $98 among those who are living in domestic partnerships, $74 by divorced Americans, $67 by those who are single and never married, and $62 by those who are widowed.
Across all age groups, those who are married reported spending more than all other marital statuses. And Americans who have never married spend significantly less, particularly those younger than 50.
Gallup says that if more people got married, overall spending in the U.S. could increase, with a result of boosting the U.S. economy.
The report says that married couples spend more in part because they have higher-than-average incomes. Single Americans make less, so they spend less. However, couples in domestic partnerships spend almost as much as those who are married but have lower average incomes. That suggests that domestic partners may actually overspend, based on what would be expected considering their incomes.
While the U.S. marriage rate has declined in recent years, Gallup analysis indicates that the marriage rate in the United States will go up in the future, based on "a pent-up demand for marriage."
So, do your part for America's financial future. Pop the question. Or at least shack up.
--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet