Cohabitating Couples With Lower Education Levels Marry Less. Is This Because They Do Not Want To?
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Today, nearly two-thirds of first marriages are preceded by cohabitation, but even as living together has increasingly become part of the marriage process, fewer cohabitating couples get married and an increasing proportion break up within three years. This study looks at the National Study of Family Growth at two time points, 1995 and 2006- 2010, to show that cohabitating college-educated women are more likely to transition to marriage than less-educated women, even though they share the same marriage intentions when they begin living with their partners. The authors suggest that even while social ideas about the necessity of marriage are changing over time, structural barriers may be preventing some people who want to get married from securing resources for stable family life.