Leading sociologists have discovered something they call the Success Sequence. It is as close to a magic formula for avoiding poverty as can be found. And it is certainly something all parents should know about because it affects the lives and future of our children and how they can almost guarantee never living in poverty as they enter young adulthood. It involves three relatively simple steps.

  1. Finish high school.
  2. Maintain a full-time job once you finish school.
  3. Get married before you have children and stay married.

College is not even a necessity for success.

A full 97% of American Millennials who do these three things will not be poor as adults. 97 percent! And this sequence is so powerful that it even lifts those who come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.


  • 96% of Black and 97% of Hispanic Millennials who complete these three steps are not poor in their mid-30s.
  • 94% of Millennials who grew up in lower-income families will avoid poverty if they follow the Success Sequence.
  • 95% of Millennials who grew up separated from their mother or father will avoid poverty following the Sequence.
  • And 95% of Millennials who follow the three steps of the Sequence but do not have a college degree will not be poor by their mid-30s.

These scholars explain, “Stunningly, the racial gaps in poverty are almost closed” by following the Success Sequence. Education, work and marriage are indeed the great equalizers regarding avoidance of poverty. These facts are profoundly powerful and should be embraced and taught by all parents to their children.

And the team over at Institute for Family Studies (IFS), a secular research organization that Focus on the Family esteems highly, has made teaching the power of the Success Sequence even easier. IFS has created three helpful new videos explaining the importance of the Success Sequence in the lives of young men, women and couples.

The first short video addresses young men…

The second short video addresses young women…

The third short video address couples and how the Success Sequence and marriage works for them…

And to dig deeper into the remarkable effectiveness and power of the Success Sequence, the scholars at the Institute for Family Studies provide this helpful 10-page report.

Help your children know that avoiding poverty for them, their future spouse and children is just three wise choices away. All the other good choices they make in life will be icing on the cake.


Photo from Shutterstock.