New information about cohabitation, marriage & divorce


The National Center for Health Statistics recently released a report on trends in the US regarding cohabitation, marriage and divorce.

The report provides tables and figures that describe:

  • Cohabitation and marital status of men and women  Tables 1 & 2
  • Age of first marriages for men and women, Tables 3 and 4
  • Length of first marriages, Tables 5-7
  • how cohabitation  impacts the durability of marriage, Tables 5-7
  • Length of separation between first marriage and divorce, Table 8

Cohabitation & Divorce


Should you live with your future spouse before tying the knot? Does cohabitation provide a good trial run for marriage or is it just a sign of a lack of commitment? Research evidence on this frequently debated topic has been mixed over the last decade. What does the science say today?

Wendy Manning and Jessica Cohen took a look at recent marriages (since 1996) to see what the latest evidence looks like. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that many couples are cohabiting prior to marriage. The most recent estimates from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research indicate that about two-thirds of all couples live together before getting married. From 1987 to 2008, there has been a steady increase in the number of couples living together across the entire age range.

This is an area in which there has been mixed scientific evidence.  This new report by Manning and Cohen provides some new insights.  See an extended discussion of this report on Huffington Post….