Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cohabitation: The New Normal

According to a recent NBC News article, more and more people are reporting that they have cohabitated with a partner before ever getting married. As the article states, "More women are choosing to live with men first without marriage and more of those relationships are lasting longer, according to a new government study that tracks the continuing climb of cohabitation in the U.S."

The study, which comes from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), is sponsored through the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The NSFG gathers information on family life, marriage and divorce, pregnancy, infertility, use of contraception, and men's and women's health. The survey results are used by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and others to plan health services and health education programs, and to do statistical studies of families, fertility, and health. The study on cohabitation can be found in their publications on their website.

While no local data is available about partners who have EVER cohabitated prior to marriage, there is data in  the American Communities Survey that identifies the number of people who report that they are CURRENTLY cohabitating. According to the 2011 Five Year Estimates of the ACS, about 8% of households in Herkimer County are composed of cohabitating partnerships, while in Oneida County it is closer to 7%.

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