Nearly half (forty-eight percent) of young women live with their first male counterpart instead of getting married, according to a new government survey recently released.
This shows a marked increase in the number of young unmarried couples when compared to the results from 1995, where only 34 percent of couples moved in together. The survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the number is up even from 2002, which showed 43 percent who claimed cohabitation. In 1995, 39 percent of couples married before living together, compared to only 23 percent now.
“Instead of marriage, people are moving into cohabitation as a first union,” said demographer Casey Copen, the report’s lead author. “It’s kind of a ubiquitous phenomenon now.”
According to the experts, this study shows that more and more young couples are living together to test things out first before getting married. Many couples hope that living together will help them to ensure that they’ve found the right partner. They say that about 40 percent of women who lived with a man first later got married to that same person, usually within 3 years.
However, after cohabiting for a while, 32 percent continued to live together, while 27 percent broke up. The average time spent living together is 22 months, but in 2002, it was 20 months. In 1995, the average time spent living together was 13 months.
The survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention questioned more than 12,000 women younger than 45 from 2006 to 2010.
According to the report, 19 percent of women living together with their partner became pregnant and gave birth within the first year. A great deal of cohabitation occurs among the young, with one-quarter of women cohabiting by age 20, and three-quarters saying they had lived with a partner by age 30.
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