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More Unmarried Couples Live Together, New Data Finds.

If you're a millennial, you can probably count on a single hand how many of your friends (http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/09/24/record-share-of-americans-have-never-married/) are married . More and more young adults are putting everything else ahead of their wedding date, such as higher learning, career pursuits and digging out from under soul-crushing student debt. 

The number of millennials who are legally married is pretty small when compared with older generations. However, young adults are making agreements with their significant others to explore different living arrangements. A new study finds a substantial number of young adults are living together - but they haven't tied the knot. 

Read: (http://www.ibtimes.com/credit-cards-trends-millennials-compared-past-generations-video-2535415) Credit Cards Trends For Millennials Compared To Past Generations

As marriage rates have declined, the number of adults in cohabiting relationships has steadily increased, hitting around 18 million in 2016. According to (https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2016/demo/families/cps-2016.html) U.S. Census Bureau data , this figure is up 29 percent since 2007, when 14 million adults were sharing living arrangements. 

A new analysis from the Current Population Survey by the (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/06/number-of-u-s-adults-cohabiting-with-a-partner-continues-to-rise-especially-among-those-50-and-older/) Pew Research Center  found that about half of Americans living with an eligible spouse are younger than 35 years old. An increasing number of Americans ages 50 and up are also participants in cohabiting relationships. However, cohabiters ages 50 and older represented just under 25 percent of cohabiting adults in 2016.

In 2007, the number of cohabiting adults ages 50 and older grew by 75 percent. This escalation is quicker than that of any other age groups during the term and is a result in part of the aging of Baby Boomers. In 2016, 4 million adults ages 50 and older were cohabiting. Comparably, 8.9 million adults ages 18 to 34 were cohabiting the year prior, up from 7.2 million.

The growing number of cohabitors ages 50 and older is a result of the rising divorce rates among the demographic. With increased divorce rates and an increasing number of individuals who have never married in this age group, more people are unmarried and available for partnering or re-partnering.

Read: (http://www.ibtimes.com/dating-app-tips-when-should-you-send-second-text-hinge-wants-help-2546497) Dating App Tips: When Should You Send That Second Text? Hinge Wants To Help

According to a 2012 study from the (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120118101335.htm) Journal of Marriage and Family , couples who were married didn't have any long-term advantages over couples who were just cohabiting. The report compared the differences between married couples and those who were only living together; it concluded that there were no major differences.

"While married couples experience health gains - likely linked to the formal benefits of marriage such as shared healthcare plans - cohabiting couples experienced greater gains in happiness and self-esteem," Dr. Kelly Musick of Cornell University stated in the study. "For some, cohabitation may come with fewer unwanted obligations than marriage and allow for more flexibility, autonomy, and personal growth."

What does this all mean? Perhaps what previous generations believed to be taboo may not be all that bad. It might also be a sign that marriage isn't the end-all, be-all for every couple. In regards to the change over the years in living arrangements, it seems that the societal pressure to get hitched may no longer be as pronounced.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Jun 2, 2017
Words:575
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