If couples are getting married at all today, they’re choosing to do it much later in life than even 10 years ago. The average age of marriage in the United States today is 28 years old, which is likely due to the fact that millennials are putting their careers before a family on their list of priorities. However, a new study shows that getting married can cause a significant uptick in yearly income, specifically for men.
While this may not be terribly surprising, marriage instills a greater sense of familial responsibility in men, making them feel like they now must provide for more than just themselves. As a result, they work harder, smarter and with a greater focus on making more money than they did when they were single.
Their daily routines also change significantly. While bachelors spend more time with friends and out at bars (likely trying to meet women), married men spend more of their time at home with their families. This is especially true if that family includes children. When a guy’s attention switches to such things, he can’t help but let that affect his priorities, financially speaking.
According to research conducted by The Washington Post, married men work an average of 400 hours more a year than single men with similar work backgrounds. That’s a pretty significant difference, especially considering how much sports they’re missing during those hours. According to the report, married men between 28 and 30 make on average $15,900 more than single men. That gap jumps to $18,800 for men between the ages of 44 and 46. And yes, these averages are the same across all ethnicities, regions and education levels.
They also work smarter, meaning they plan ahead and try to keep financial loss at a minimum so as to not have it negatively impact their family. According to a Harvard study, married men quit their jobs far less frequently than bachelors, or if they do, they make sure they have another job lined up beforehand. In my opinion, this is why married men are so attractive to women — responsibility is super sexy.
There are several reasons for the emotional and behavioral changes that come over men when they get hitched, one of which was mentioned above — married men are inclined to make more money when they feel responsible for a family. According to sociologist Elizabeth Gorman, because of this responsibility pull, married men are more likely to seek higher-paying jobs than single men.
Also, while millennials are viewing marriage more and more as an outdated institution, men who choose to get married still view it as the last “rite of passage” into adulthood. For them, it instills new meaning into their lives and in many cases involves being the provider.
A great aspect of this cycle is that employers are rewarding married men’s tendency to work harder and with more dedication than their single counterparts. According to The New York Times, married men tend to get promoted more often than single men and (sadly) mothers. So this notion that men become more responsible and overall better workers when they get married is perpetuated by this common reward.
While the income gap between men and women in general is still ever present, it is thought that married women are somewhat responsible for their husband’s success in the workplace, especially if they’re well-educated. After all, loving encouragement is better than therapy in most cases.