Generational differences in cohabitation and marriage in the US

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We use data from pooled 2000 to 2004 current population surveys (CPSs) to examine generational differences in cohabitation and marriage among men and women ages 20-34 in the US. Consistent with our expectation and in line with assimilation theory, levels of cohabitation rise across succeeding generations. In contrast, generational differences in marriage follow a curvilinear pattern such that those in the second generation are least likely to be married, which supports some contemporary extensions of assimilation theory. These patterns persist across education groups, and tend to hold across racial and ethnic groups, too, although among women, the predicted percentages cohabiting across generations vary widely by race-ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-550
Number of pages20
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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