Single Women Are Wealthier? Not So Fast, Virginia Scholar Says

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Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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After an article published in Bloomberg claimed that childless single women make more than those with children, University of Virginia Professor Brad Wilcox took to Twitter on Thursday to debunk the piece.

Bloomberg editor Molly Smith wrote an article Wednesday headlined: “Women who stay single and don’t have kids are getting richer.” The piece cited data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank that showed that single woman with children had on average $7,000 in wealth in 2019, while single women without children had accumulated around $65,000. Smith wrote at the time of publication, “for all the ladies who don’t have kids and maybe don’t ever want them, this one’s for you.’ (RELATED: Study Finds That Religious People Have Better, But Less Frequent, Sex)

Wilcox says that Smith’s article fails to take married women into account. The data only compares single men with and without children against single women with and without children. Other data from the St. Louis Fed shows that married adults make considerably more than unmarried adults.

Other data from the St. Louis Fed released in 2019 found that married young adults had about three times as much wealth as single households or couples living together from 1989 to 2016.

Following the recession of 2008, married households’ median total net worth almost doubled between 2013 and 2016, but at the time the St. Louis Fed published the data, the median total net worth of unmarried young adult households had yet to improve. Married young households also more frequently own a home, according to the data.