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Married and Unmarried Cohabitation in the United States: 1980

Graham B. Spanier
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 45, No. 2 (May, 1983), pp. 277-288
DOI: 10.2307/351507
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/351507
Page Count: 12
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Married and Unmarried Cohabitation in the United States: 1980
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Abstract

Data from the March 1980 Current Population Survey are used to contrast married couples living together with never-married and ever-married adults living with an unrelated adult of the opposite sex. This study profiles the social and economic characteristics of couples, as well as the joint age, racial, educational, employment, and marital-status characteristics of married and unmarried partners. In addition, the paper highlights changes between 1975 and 1980 in several demographic characteristics pertaining to married and unmarried couples in the United States. In 1980 approximately 1.6 million unmarried couples were living together in the United States, more than triple the number since 1970. By 1981 there were approximately 1.8 million unmarried couples, about 4% of all couples. About 28% of all unmarried couples have one or more children present in the household. When one considers children as well as adults, more than four million persons live in a household with two unmarried adults of the opposite sex.

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