July 21, 2007

Hispanics Say Children Necessary for Successful Marriage

69%

That’s the percentage of Hispanics in America who say that having children is very important for a marriage to be successful–far higher than the number of non-Hispanic whites (35%) who say so.

When it comes to the relationship between marriage and children, Hispanics stand out, with nearly seven in ten (69%) considering having and raising children “very important” for a successful marriage compared with 35% of whites and 49% of blacks — even so, a majority of Hispanics say that adult happiness and fulfillment is the main purpose of a marriage. Indeed, Hispanics place higher value than whites do on the importance of most of the ingredients of a successful marriage that a recent Pew Social Trends survey asked about – especially the economic components. But like blacks, Hispanics are less likely than whites to be married and more likely to have children outside marriage. One possible explanation to emerge from this survey is that many members of these minority groups may be setting a high bar for marriage that they themselves cannot reach, whether for economic or other reasons. While there are sharp generational differences in views about the morality of unwed parenting, there is no significant difference on this front by race or ethnicity; blacks, Hispanics and whites are about equally likely to say it is wrong for unmarried women to have children. When it comes to evaluating the impact on society of the growing numbers of children born out of wedlock, Hispanics are somewhat less negative about this phenomenon than are whites and blacks, between whom there is no statistically significant difference. Read More