According to a new study, many more people are deciding to live together, unmarried, and are having children as a result of this than in the past. According to USA Today, almost half of women between the ages of 15 and 44 have had their first real “union” through cohabitation. The study, done by the National Center for Health Statistics was based off of interviews conducted with 12,279 women from 2006 to 2010. It also showed that the numbers of people shacking up have even increased a great deal since 1995, when there were only 34 percent of women saying they had done it, and from 2002, when 43 percent proclaimed their current or previous cohabited status.
Other findings in the study including detailing which groups are cohabiting more and more, the length of time on average people are doing it, how many become pregnant during that time, and what the opportunity for marriage is looking like after saying I do…to sharing bills under the same roof. The women who have cohabited have definitely increased for all ethnic groups, though the study says Asian women are the exception. Hispanic women have gone up to 57 percent cohabitation, 43 percent for whites and 39 percent for blacks. The study also finds that 70 percent of women cohabiting as a first union don’t have a high school diploma, while 47 percent of women with a bachelor’s live with their partners, and according to USA Today, “Among women ages 22-44 with higher education, their cohabitations were more likely to transition to marriage by within years (53%), compared with 30% for those who didn’t graduate high school.”
About 19 percent of women were found to have become pregnant within the first year of living with their partner, and 22 months was the median amount of time people lived together, an increase from 20 months in 2002. But within three years of living together, 40 percent of women were able to get a ring put on it, while 32 percent continued to live together and 27 percent of those studied fell out and broke up.
I’m sure we all know a few friends or family members who are cohabiting. And it’s clear that more and more people are becoming comfortable with living with a partner before marriage, and for some, it’s setting them up for pregnancy, while others do end up walking down the aisle. Question is, are you down for cohabitation? Why are why not?