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As Cheaply as One: Cohabitation in the Older Population

Albert Chevan
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 58, No. 3 (Aug., 1996), pp. 656-667
DOI: 10.2307/353726
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353726
Page Count: 12
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As Cheaply as One: Cohabitation in the Older Population
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Abstract

This study examines the prevalence of cohabitation, observes trends in cohabitation between 1960 and 1990, and investigates the conditions leading older persons to cohabit. An indirect strategy is used to measure cohabitation as a result of a validation study of approaches to its measurement. The trend analysis with Public Use Microdata Samples finds 2.4% of unmarried persons age 60 and older cohabiting in 1990, up from virtually 0% in 1960. By 1990 there were 407,000 elderly cohabitors, compared with 9,600 in 1960. Cohorts with considerably higher levels of cohabitation will shortly enter old age. Variables measuring individual characteristics, economic motivations, and the social context are used to predict cohabitation.

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