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Vital Health Stat 23. 2002 Jul;(22):1-93.

Cohabitation, marriage, divorce, and remarriage in the United States.



This report presents national estimates of the probabilities of marital and cohabitation outcomes for women 15-44 years of age in 1995, by a wide variety of individual- and community-level characteristics. The life-table analysis in this report takes a life cycle approach to estimate the probabilities that: a woman will marry for the first time, an intact first cohabitation will make the transition to marriage, a first cohabitation will end in separation, a first marriage will end in separation or divorce, a disrupted first marriage will be followed by a new cohabitation, a separation from first marriage will result in divorce, a divorce from first marriage will be followed by remarriage, and a second marriage will end in separation or divorce.


The life-table estimates presented here are based on a nationally representative sample of women 15-44 years of age in the United States in 1995 from the National Survey of Family Growth, Cycle 5.


The analyses show that various individual and community-level characteristics are related to the marital and cohabitational outcomes examined in this report. The results consistently demonstrate that the cohabitations and marriages of non-Hispanic black women are less stable than those of non-Hispanic white women. An analysis of trends over time suggests that differences by race/ethnicity are becoming more pronounced in recent years. Racial differences observed are associated with individual characteristics and with the characteristics of the communities in which the women live.

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