Are Couples That Live Together Before Marriage More Likely to Divorce?

In the 1970s, only a tiny fraction of the U.S. population—less than half a percentage (0.2%)—lived as cohabitating romantic partners at any given time. Today, that number is about 15% in the 18-34 age bracket (Gurrentz, 2018). Putting this into context, nearly two-thirds of women today (64%) have cohabitated at some point (Hemez & Manning, 2017), with some evidence suggesting the total is as high as 70% (Rosenfeld & Roesler, 2019). These numbers are more than double what they were in 1987. In other words, what once was an extraordinarily rare living arrangement for a dating couple is now commonplace.

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