Cohabitation refers to an arrangement in which an unmarried romantic couple lives together in the same residence. In general, cohabitation is more popular throughout Western Europe, North America, and Latin America than in the Middle East, Asia, or Africa. For instance, cohabitation rates are highest in Columbia, Peru, Sweden, and France and lowest in China, South Korea, Indonesia, and Egypt. In the United States, cohabitation has become increasingly commonplace; U.S. Census data indicate that 18 million adults were cohabiting in 2016.

When describing trends in cohabitation rates demographers often distinguish between two types of cohabitation: premarital cohabitation and postmarital cohabitation. Premarital cohabitation refers to a co-residential union formed by individuals who have never married. According to the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth, approximately half (48%) ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles