Entering Marital and Cohabiting Unions*

Arland Thornton, William G. Axinn and Yu Xie

in Marriage and Cohabitation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226798660
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226798684 | DOI:
Entering Marital and Cohabiting Unions*

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This chapter focuses on the individual transitions that transform single individuals into cohabiting and married couples. The primary emphasis is on union-formation rates. What are the rates of transforming single individuals into cohabitors and spouses? And what are the rates of transforming cohabiting unions into marriages? The chapter describes these rates, showing how they differ by the age and gender of the individual, and also considers cumulative experience with each of the relationship statuses. What fraction of the population ever enters a union and what percentages of these new unions are entered through marriage and cohabitation? And given the movement among the three relationship statuses, what fractions of individuals are single, married, and cohabiting at any particular point of the life course? The chapter's emphasis is on young adults as they mature from teenagers into their early thirties.

Keywords: single; marriage; cohabitation; couples; young adults; teenagers; union formation

Chapter.  6667 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Population and Demography

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