Insights Into the Dramatic Rise in Pre-Marriage Cohabitation


If you go back 70 years, the share of women and men living together before marriage was under 1%. If  you go back 50 years, it was less than 10%. Now, about 70% of men and women live together before marriage.

Arielle Kuperberg digs into some of the patterns behind this trend in “From Countercultural Trend to Strategy for the Financially Insecure: Premarital Cohabitation and Premarital Cohabitors, 1956-2015,”written as a briefing paper for the Council on Contemporary Families (October 8, 2018). The briefing paper draws on her article, To cite this article “Premarital Cohabitation and Direct Marriage in the United States: 1956–2015, just published in the Marriage & Family Review (but not freely available online).

Here’s the overall trend in cohabitation before first marriage over time.

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2 thoughts on “Insights Into the Dramatic Rise in Pre-Marriage Cohabitation”

  1. “On average, women with a high school diploma or less have a 60 percent chance of a marriage ending in divorce within 20 years. The chance that a woman with a college degree will divorce within the same time period is nearly three times lower — about 22 percent.”

    This can’t be good news for those who constantly bash higher education!!

    1. Scott, you clearly don’t understand my position on higher ed. I taught graduate school for 15 years. I’m not against higher education.

      I am against what often poses as higher education. Training is not education.

      I’m also against educating costing >2x what it actually should cost because the government is subsidizing the waste.

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