About 78 percent of marriages lasted five years or more, compared with less than 30 percent of what the CDC called cohabiting unions, or couples living together outside marriage.Of course, a big part of that is that 'living together' means 'unmarried', so if you get married, your cohabitation ends.
One reason cohabitations were shorter-lived than marriages is that 51 percent of couples who lived together made the transition to marriage within three years, CDC said in a statement.
So, that leaves...just under 80% of cohabitations lasting at least three to five years. Not much of a story there after all - or, the story is that marriages aren't more successful than cohabitation. So I found the CDC report, and dug through the results a little. Some things I found interesting, primarily from Tables 16 and 17:
- There's practically no correlation between cohabitation and probability of marriage survival (maybe for the majority - if we had to get used to each others' living habits, on top of the other stress related to getting married, I'm not sure that we'd last). [UPDATE: Apparently some of our readers have more current statistics usage than me, and are less tired while reading than I was while writing. There is in fact a correlation, but the difference is minimal - a couple of percent difference in the probability of marriage survival. Sorry for being careless with my language.]
- That being said, couples who moved in together after getting engaged seem to have significantly higher likelihood of staying together long-term than those who move in before they get engaged. Whoops.
- Couples who were pregnant before they got married, or without kids, were way less likely to stay together than couples with children born 8 or more months after the wedding.