On the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s announcement of the War on Poverty, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., gave a speech at an event titled, "Income Mobility and the American Dream," sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
During the speech, Rubio made a claim about the relationship between marriage and poverty.
"Until at least a few decades ago, our economy proved sufficiently dynamic and innovative to replace old jobs with new ones, but that hasn't been happening in recent years," Rubio said. "Social factors also play a major role in denying equal opportunity. The truth is that the greatest tool to lift people, to lift children and families from poverty, is one that decreases the probability of child poverty by 82 percent. But it isn't a government program. It's called marriage."
He continued, "Fifty years ago today, when the War on Poverty was launched, 93 percent of children born in the United States were born to married parents. By 2010, that number had plummeted to 60 percent. It shouldn't surprise us that 71 percent of poor families with children are families that are not headed by a married couple."
A reader asked us to investigate whether Rubio is correct that marriage "decreases the probability of child poverty by 82 percent." So we did.