Study: couples who live together before marriage less likely to stay married
RenewAmerica staff
March 4, 2010

A new study by the National Center for Health Statistics has found that those of the opposite sex who live together before getting married are less likely to remain married after ten years.

The study, released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was based on data gathered by the National Survey of Family Growth involving men and women aged 15 to 44. Researchers determined that if a couple cohabit before marriage, the probability the union will survive ten years drops by 6 percent.

Those who marry after age 26 or who have a baby not long after marrying have a better chance of staying married, the study also indicated.

62 percent of women in the study between age 25 and 44 were currently married, while 8 percent were currently cohabiting. For men, the figures were 59 percent and 10 percent.

Of those living together, half would marry within three years, the study determined.

The authors found that women ages 18 and 19 were cohabiting at more than twice the rate at which they were marrying — 11 percent to 5 percent. They also found that the number of women who had cohabited by their late 30s doubled in the last 15 years to 61 percent.

28 percent of men and women had cohabited prior to marrying, researchers learned, and 7 percent cohabited and never married. 18 percent of men and 23 percent of women married without having cohabited.

Roughly 60% of men and women surveyed who said religion "was important" in their lives were currently married, compared with 36% of those surveyed who said religion was ''not important.''

 Click to see the study in PDF


They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. —Isaiah 40:31