Why Are Married Couples Wealthier Than Couples Who Just Live Together?


Married couples have a major financial advantage over cohabitating couples, and the explanation isn’t rocket science.


The institution of marriage stills mean something to Americans, at least financially speaking.


Married U.S. couples ages 25-34 have a median net worth four times that of couples in the same age range who live together but are unmarried, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing 2019 data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve.

Meanwhile, the median single American aged 25-34 has about 20% as much wealth — measured as assets minus liabilities — as his or her married counterpart.

  • In addition to some tax breaks, married couples benefit from combining their financial resources in investments, like home ownership.
  • “Married people may be much more likely to have these conversations around what goals they have for their financial future,” Emily Garbinsky, a marketing professor at Cornell University, told the Journal.
  • “There seems to be something very special and unique about deciding to share finances.”


A growing body of research has confirmed the benefits of matrimony in a number of areas.

By We'll Do It Live