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Divorce Rates for Cohabitation

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Divorce Rates for Cohabitation and Comparisons of Regular Marriages


  • There is 20 percent possibility that a first marriage would end in a divorce or separation within 5 years. There is 49 percent possibility that a premarital cohabitation would break up within 5 years
  • After 10 years have passed by, there is 33 percent possibility that a first marriage would break up while a 62 percent possibility that a cohabitation would terminate
  • Out of the total first marriages of women, 53 percent are after cohabitation
  • Out of the total different sex cohabitors –
    • 55 percent marry each other within 5 years of beginning the cohabitation
    • 40 percent break up within 5 years of starting the cohabitation
    • 10 percent opt for an unmarried relationship lasting 5 years or more
  • 1.2 million individuals in the United States cohabit with the same sex partner and 9.7 million cohabit with a different sex partner
  • Same sex couples are 11 percent of the unmarried partners
  • From 1990 to 2000, the number of unmarried couples cohabiting shot up by 72 percent
  • From 1960 to 2000, the number of unmarried couples cohabiting has been enlarged 10 times
  • In the age group 20 to 29, 43 percent are of the opinion that couples who cohabit should be given benefits identical to married couples

Cohabitation Divorce Statistics in America

In the United States, a majority of individuals were opposed to cohabitation in the past. However, as time has progressed, so has the acceptance for this practice.

Consider the statement – It is usually a good idea for a couple to live together before getting married in order to find out whether they really get along. The number of high school senior boys, who accede to this statement, has shot up from 45 percent to 64 percent. Similarly, the number of high school senior girls, who agree with this statement, has risen from 32 percent to 57 percent.

Consider another statement – You would only marry someone if he or she acceded to reside together with you first, so that you could find out whether you really get along. In 2001, the National Marriage Project surveyed young adults ranging from 20 to 29 years. Out of these 43 percent acceded to this statement.

If the women in the country in the age group 19 to 44 are studied, then in 1902, almost none had cohabited while in 1987, 33 percent had cohabited and further in 2002 more than 50 percent practice cohabitation. Taking the above sentence into account, it is not astonishing that the rates of marriage have declined while the rates of cohabitation have risen, simultaneously.

Cohabitation and Children

Cohabitation has an adverse effect on the wellbeing of children. The percentage of cohabiting couples that have children is more than 40. The dissolution rate of cohabiting couples is more than the married couples. So, the children of cohabiting couples are subjected to more stress of family break up. Moreover, cohabiting couples have greater rate of family violence and child abuse.


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