Regional and Social Contrasts of Non-Marital Cohabitation in Colombia

Anny Carolina Saavedra Morales, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

One of the historical legacies of the colonization of Latin America was the emergence of alternative ways of union formation to marriage and strongly associated with a pattern of social disadvantage. In recent decades, traditional forms of non-marital cohabitation have been growing alongside 'new' forms of cohabitation of closer meaning to the ones observed in developed societies, particularly among the young and educated cohorts. This paper explores which individual and contextual variables are associated to both types of cohabitation in Colombia. To this end, I use census microdata from 1985 to 2005. First, I describe overall trends of marriage and cohabitation. Second, I examine the role of education by cohort and time. Third, I explore differences across regions. Results show that cohabitation has risen across all educational groups but continues to be more prevalent among the low educated women. Similarly, cohabitation has increased in all regions but regional differences persist.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Marriage, Unions, Families and Households