Married People More Likely to Be 'Thriving': Poll

The finding has stayed consistent for more than a decade
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2024 8:25 AM CDT
Married People More Likely to Be 'Thriving': Poll
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / Larisa Rudenko)

Even if your spouse annoys you at times, you may want to take a moment to appreciate them in light of a recent Gallup poll that finds married people are significantly more likely to be "thriving" than unmarried ones. Gallup defines "thriving" as respondents who rated their current lives at a 7 (out of 10) or higher, and also anticipated their lives in five years would be rated at an 8 or higher. Specifically, per the Hill, in 2023, married Americans between ages 25 and 50 were found to be 16% more likely to be thriving than divorced people or those who never married, and 13% more likely to be thriving than people in a domestic partnership.

"Any way you analyze those data, we see a fairly large and notable advantage to being married in terms of how people evaluate their life," the poll author says, per CNN. The impact was found to hold true even when adjusting for differing genders, ages, educational status, and racial-ethnic groups. Surveys done from 2009 to 2023 found similar results consistently, with married Americans ranging between 12% and 24% more likely to be thriving than those in any other relationship status. One psychologist, however, offers a caveat: "I still believe that those who have unhappy marriages, are probably less happy than those who are single."

In the New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristof weighs in on the topic and comes down firmly in favor of saying, "I do," for similar reasons addressed in the Gallup survey. He laments the declining marriage rate and a new "epoch" in which married people are in the minority. "Spouses can be exasperating (as my wife can attest), but they also can cuddle, fill us with love and connect us to a purpose beyond ourselves," he writes. "They are infinitely better, for us and for society, than virtual lovers on an app, and that seems worth celebrating openly." Read his full column. (More marriage stories.)

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