Many economic indicators are going in the right direction in Ohio: the state's unemployment rate has dropped below the national average in recent months, and 132,900 jobs have been added in the past two years.
But a leading factor in higher poverty rates has seen a marked increase in Ohio over the past decade: The state is one of more than a dozen that have seen a 6 percent or greater decline in the number of families with two parents present....
Research shows time and again a high correlation between one-parent families and poverty; married couples with children have an average income nationally of $80,000. Single mothers' average income is just $24,000.
The effect is compounded by the fact that poor children are less likely to do well in school and get good jobs when they grow up, meaning the cycle of poverty becomes hard to break ... .
There aren't easy fixes for cultural changes that have been accelerating for decades, resulting in negative consequences. A New York Times story in July, based on a Brookings Institution report on the negative effect on children from the decline in marriage, drew flak from some for violating the politically correct view that people who say kids need two parents are judgmental squares. But at least this type of dialogue in the media provokes a discussion we should be having about the root causes of poverty and the kind of future we're giving our children.
The Columbus Dispatch