Forty-eight per cent of women who moved in with men between 2006 and 2010 were not married, according to interviews conducted in those years. In 2002 43 per cent of couples were cohabiting and in 1995 only 34 per cent lived together without being married.
The study suggests that around 40 per cent of those relationships became marriages after three years, but 32 per cent of the couples remained as cohabitees.
“It’s becoming more acceptable to be in a long-term, committed relationship without a legal document”.
By the age of 20 a quarter of women have lived with a man, and by the age of 30 this fraction increases to three quarters, the survey claims.
“The question becomes not who cohabits, but who doesn’t?”, Smock says.
Researchers interviewed a sample of nearly 13,000 women between 2006 and 2010 as part of the Federal National Survey of Family Growth and figures were compared to reports from previous years.
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