Marriage and cohabitation in the United States: A statistical portrait based on Cycle 6 (2002) of the National Survey of Family Growth

Paula Y. Goodwin, William D. Mosher, Anjani Chandra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective This report provides an overview of marital and cohabiting relationships in the United States among men and women aged 15-44 in 2002, by a variety of characteristics. National estimates are provided that highlight formal and informal marital status, previous experience with marriage and cohabitation, the sequencing of marriage and cohabitation, and the stability of cohabitations and marriages. Methods The analyses presented in this report are based on a nationally representative sample of 12,571 men and women aged 15-44 living in households in the United States in 2002, based on the National Survey of Family Growth, Cycle 6. Results Over 40% of men and women aged15-44 were currently married at the date of interview, compared with about 9% who were currently cohabiting. Men and women were, however, likely to cohabit prior to becoming married. Marriages were longer lasting than cohabiting unions; about 78% of marriages lasted 5 years or more, compared with less than 30% of cohabitations. Cohabitations were shorter-lived than marriages in part because about half of cohabitations transitioned to marriage within 3 years. Variations- often large variations-in marital and cohabiting relationships and durations were found by race and Hispanic origin, education, family background, and other factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalVital and Health Statistics, Series 23: Data from the National Survey of Family Growth
Volume23
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Keywords

  • Cohabitation
  • Demographics
  • Divorce
  • Marriage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice

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