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Who's Moving In Together, And Why


With guest host Tom Gjelten. 

Cohabitation nation. More unwed Americans are living together than ever before. We’ll ask who and why.

We used to call it shacking up. But a couple living together before they marry is the new normal. Two out of three couples who’ve married since 2000 started out by living together. For some, it was a good first step. For many, it was just a matter of economic necessity. This hour On Point: Cohabitation Nation. How the living-together trend is remaking relationships and highlighting gender and class divisions.


Sharon Sassler, co-author of, “Cohabitation Nation: Gender, Class, and the Remaking of Relationships.” Professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University.

Amanda Jayne Miller, co-author of, “Cohabitation Nation: Gender, Class, and the Remaking of Relationships.” Professor of sociology at the University of Indianapolis.

From The Reading List

Slate: More Unmarried Americans Than Ever Are Cohabiting — “Though more Americans than ever are living in sin, the rise in cohabitation seems more a function of dropping marriage rates than rising rates of early-relationship U-Hauling. About half of cohabiting U.S. adults are under 35; in previous decades, a greater proportion of those couples would already be married. Nowadays, more young people are opting for the pleasure of listening to their significant others’ sleep and bathroom noises each and every glorious day without the burden of tax benefits or a party where people buy you new sheets.”

Pew Research Center: Number of U.S. adults cohabiting with a partner continues to rise, especially among those 50 and older — “Roughly half of cohabiters – those living with an unmarried partner – are younger than 35. But an increasing number of Americans ages 50 and older are in cohabiting relationships, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of the Current Population Survey. In fact, cohabiters ages 50 and older represented about a quarter (23%) of all cohabiting adults in 2016.”

The Atlantic: The Science of Cohabitation: A Step Toward Marriage, Not a Rebellion — “Moving in together without a diamond ring involved didn’t, on its own, lead to divorce. Instead, she found that the longer couples waited to make that first serious commitment, the better their chances for marital success. So how old should couples be when they commit? The research shows that at 23—the age when many people graduate from college, settle into adult life and begin becoming financially independent—the correlation with divorce dramatically drops off.”

Read An Excerpt From “Cohabitation Nation”

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