tutor2u | Families: Changing Patterns of Cohabitation

Study Notes

Families: Changing Patterns of Cohabitation

Level:
AS, A Level
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 27 Sept 2019

The number of couples cohabiting, as opposed to getting married, has undoubtedly increased in second half the 20th century.

Indeed, in 2015, research showed that the vast majority of marriages (80%) were between couples who had previously cohabited. As such, the increase in cohabitation is not necessarily linked to a decline in marriage although may well be deeply linked with the delay in marriage.

Of course while cohabitation is often a precursor to marriage, this is not always the case. Approximately 3% of families in the UK are cohabiting couples, so while they are more numerous than lone-parent families and have more than doubled since the mid 1990s, they are still massively outnumbered by married couples.

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