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Surprising Science

Has “Living Together” Become The New Normal?

Survey data from a new report indicates that 48 percent of unmarried women between ages 15-44 live with a significant other, a 13 percent jump from 1995. Such couples are also staying together longer before either marrying or breaking up.

What’s the Latest Development?

A report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that living together before marriage is more popular than ever, at least among the 12,000-plus American women who participated in a survey between 2006 and 2010. A full 48 percent of women surveyed were living with their significant other but are not married, compared to 35 percent in the last report, which appeared in 1995. In addition, cohabiting couples are living together for an average of 22 months, a jump of 9 months from 1995. Forty percent of these relationships led to marriages, while 27 percent of the relationships ended.

What’s the Big Idea?

The data coincides with a separate report released last month showing that the delay until marriage has grown longer than ever, and that the average age of first-time newlyweds — 26.5 for brides, 28.7 for grooms — is higher than it’s ever been. The CDC report also notes that cohabiting has become more common for every ethnic group except Asians. Also, the concept of the shotgun wedding seems to be receding further into the past: Nineteen percent of pregnancies led to marriage, compared to 32 percent in 1995.

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Read it at The Los Angeles Times


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