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Cohabitation Facts and Statistics


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There are numerous statistics, studies, and facts about how cohabiting couples are at a higher risk for divorce. Here's an example:

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reports:

"Cohabitation, once rare, is now the norm: The researchers found that more than half (54 percent) of all first marriages between 1990 and 1994 began with unmarried cohabitation. They estimate that a majority of young men and women of marriageable age today will spend some time in a cohabiting relationship. ... Cohabiting relationships are less stable than marriages and that instabililty is increasing, the study found."

Readily Available Cohabitation Facts

  • Living together is considered to be more stressful than being married.
  • Just over 50% of first cohabiting couples ever get married.
  • In the United States and in the UK, couples who live together are at a greater risk for divorce than non-cohabiting couples.
  • Couples who lived together before marriage tend to divorce early in their marriage. If their marriage last seven years, then their risk for divorce is the same as couples who didn't cohabit before marriage.

Cohabitation Facts Rarely Mentioned

  • In France and Germany cohabiting couples have a slightly lower risk of divorce.
  • If cohabitation is limited to a person's future spouse, there is no elevated risk of divorce.
  • In the U.S., cohabiting couples taking premarital education courses or counseling are not at a higher risk for divorce.
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Premarital Sex, Premarital Cohabitation, and the Risk of subsequent Marital Dissolution Among Women
by Jay Teachman

Does Cohabitation Protect Against Divorce?
by Glenn T. Stanton

Toward a Greater Understanding of the Cohabitation Effect: Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Communication
by Catherine L. Cohan and Stacey Kleinbaumb

Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Stability
by Ruth Weston, Lixia Qu and David de Vaus

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