Change over Time in Educational Differentials in Marriage Formation among Cohabitors

Janet Kuo, University of Texas at Austin

Using data from the NSFG 1995 and 2006-2010 female respondents’ data sets, we examine the educational differences in marriage formation among cohabitors and how these differences change over time. The preliminary results suggest that the educational differences in both marriage and dissolution processes for cohabitors have become greater in the more recent period. This increased educational disparity is not only driven by a downward trend of marriage and an upward trend of dissolution among cohabitors with no college degrees but also driven by growing proportions of college-educated cohabitors marrying. To further understand this increased educational disparity in relationship stability among cohabitors, the next step for us is to investigate how change over time in racial and ethnical differences in marriage formation among cohabitors, age at initiating cohabiting unions across educational groups, and childbearing status at the initiation of cohabiting unions are linked with this increased diverging relationship experiences among cohabitors of different educational groups.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Economy, Labor Force, Education and Inequality