As millions of rose bouquets grace kitchen tables and office desks across America and dozens of chocolate delicacies are savored after candlelight dinners, card companies, jewelry stores and candy makers will be singing the praises of St. Valentine and raising their own glass of champagne to love.

But the economic benefits of celebrating lifelong love are not simply for card stores and florist shops once a year. Marriage not only pays emotional dividends as men and women commit themselves to each other, focus on their children, and face the challenges of life together. The institution that forges unique personalities and lives together in the hearth of loving commitment can also provide notable economic benefits. Married couples tend to have a higher average income, more assets, and a greater likelihood of owning their own home than families led by single adults.

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