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Maybe. Where's the gain? It's a legal contract that simplifies some things (inheritance, power of attorney, etc). The other stuff you mentioned is public health and safety. Seems a bit different to me.

The main reason noted on the planning blogs is that being married tends to correlate with better economic outcomes. Married folks share a whole host of very costly things (primarily housing and the equipment that goes into it, like appliances) more regularly than unmarrieds, which frees up resources for other needs. They also can allocate tasks and errands, and respond to unexpected events, by sharing them among two people. Marriage is also more frequently chosen by higher educated, higher-income folks than those with lower levels - singles, and particularly single-parent females, are especially at risk for living in poverty.

Marriage thus gets discussed as a valuable economic good that the wealthy, educated, and upper-middle class still have plentiful access to, but that middle- and lower-class individuals are increasingly forgoing - and that marriage has benefits that reinforce that economic divide.

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