In response to my claim that married people are, on average, wealthier than people in other marital statuses, a commenter on Twitter suggested that this kind of finding ignores the loss of wealth due to divorce, so it is not worth it to get married. The implication is that people who never marry should be wealthier than divorced people. Of course, we would need to adjust for age since wealth tends to grow as one gets older.
I did this using General Social Survey (GSS) data. Respondents were asked their wealth on a 15 category scale that went from less than $5,000 to more than $15 million. This first model is for men (n = 1,689):
Divorced people are the reference category: all other marital statuses are compared with them. We can see that never-married men do not more have more wealth than divorced men. The sign indicates that the divorced have more wealth, but the relationship is not statistically significant. The only group that is significantly wealthier than divorced men is the married group.
And for women (n = 1,769)?
Never-married women do not differ significantly from divorced women in wealth. Widowed and separated women are poorer than divorced women. Married women are the only group that are significantly wealthier.
Bottom line: marriage is a good place to be.