Unmarried couples who live together are staying together longer than in the past — and more of them are having children, according to the first federal data out Thursday that details just how cohabitation is transforming families across the USA.
For almost half of women ages 15-44, their “first union” was cohabitation rather than marriage, says the report from the National Center for Health Statistics. For less than one-quarter, the first union was marriage. The report was based on in-person interviews conducted between 2006 and 2010 with 12,279 women ages 15-44.
“Instead of marriage, people are moving into cohabitation as a first union,” says demographer Casey Copen, the report’s lead author.
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