Marriage and cohabitation data and analysis which refutes common assertions

I went back and looked over Dalrock’s most recent never married data from 2017.

all_never_married_2004_2016

Then I compared it to the cohabitation data over the past two decades.

Cohabitation rates have plateaued over past decade

Overall, it appears as if we can approximate the 25-30 and 30-45 data from Dalrock’s charts to compare them over to the cohabitation rates to see if cohabitation is making up for the disparity in non-married women.

According to various statistical analyses, 90-95% of women and men across all cultures eventually end up married at some point. Therefore, we want to compare this data to the disruptions in marriage to see how much marriage has actually declined, or if cohabitation is making up the difference between marriage and never marrieds.

18-29 year old range: From 2004, there is an 16% and 11% jump from the 25 and 30 never marrieds respectively. Although we don’t have the population numbers, we know the average is within the 11-16% range. From about 2005, the cohabitation rate has gone up from about 6-7% to 12% which is a 5-6% jump.

Therefore, the actual disparity in never marrieds is somewhere between about 6-9% of the population, while another 5-6% of never marrieds have turned to cohabitation instead of marriage.

30-49 year old range: From Dalrock’s chart we see that there is an 11% increase in 30 year olds, 7% increase in 35 year olds, 4% increase in 40 year olds, and about 3% increase in 45 year olds. If we assume the population is fairly consistent across all age bands (normally, it’s fairly consistent), the average would be (11+7+4+3)/4 = 25/4 = 6.25% increase overall in this age range. The cohabitation rate of 30-49 year old range from 2005-2018 suggests about 4% or so to 9% which is a 5% difference.

Therefore, the actual disparity of marriage to never marrieds is not overall a 6.25% aggregated average difference, but 6.25% – 5% or only 1.25% difference. In other words, cohabitation makes up the significant difference in in never marrieds to married gap.

Also, in another cohabitation analysis I found the first paragraph to be relatively commonplace now though wrong, but the second part I found to be startling.

Young adults are particularly accepting of cohabitation – 78% of those ages 18 to 29 say it’s acceptable for an unmarried couple to live together, even if they don’t plan to get married – but majorities across age groups share this view. Still, even among those younger than 30, a substantial share (45%) say society is better off if couples who want to stay together long-term eventually get married. Roughly half of those ages 30 to 49 say the same, as do majorities of those ages 50 and older.

Views about marriage and cohabitation are also linked to religious affiliation. About three-quarters of Catholics (74%) and white Protestants who do not self-identify as born-again or evangelical (76%) say it’s acceptable for an unmarried couple to live together even if they don’t plan to get married. By contrast, only 47% of black Protestants and 35% of white evangelical Protestants share this view. And while half or more across these groups say society is better off if couples who want to stay together long-term eventually get married, white evangelicals are the most likely to say this (78% do so). Among those who are not religiously affiliated, fully nine-in-ten say cohabitation is acceptable even if a couple doesn’t plan to get married, and just 31% say society is better off if couples who want to stay together eventually get married.

I find the Catholics accepting cohabitation to be very weird given the doctrine on marriage, but the disparity between doctrine and actual results have always been an issue at least in the US. If I remember correctly, US Catholics get 50% of the annulments when they’re only like 5% of the world’s Catholic populatino.

The other mainline Protestants have fallen to feminism already so that makes sense. However, the rates of the other Protestants aren’t particularly that surprising when you consider that they have a divorce rate in the 30-40% range. Clearly the lack of belief in the permanence of marriage and acceptance of cohabitation where ostensibly pre-marital sex is being had is of no big concern.


Overall analysis

This data suggests that in the 18-29 year old age group, the approximate 12-16% never married to married gap is prolonged singleness for about 50-60% of the persons while the other 40-50% will choose cohabitation instead of married. On the other hand in the 30-49 year old age groups, there is no significant never married to marriage gap if we take into account that approximately 80% (5%) of the people select cohabitation instead of getting married while only 20% (1.25%) will be never married and never choose cohabitation.

Thus, even with the ensuing obesity epidemic people are still pairing off by age 45-50 to greater than a 90% rate given the lowest pairings of never marrieds are at 12.8% and the cohabitators at 50 are 4%. This yields: 12.8% – 4% = 8.8% never marrieds and no cohabitation. This is fairly consistent with the 90-95% of people get married across all cultures.

This analysis also refutes the common assertion that there are large scale different outcomes in both the secular and Christian manosphere by age 45-50.

Even though there are disruptions in the lower age group ranges (e.g. 18-30ish), these are probably due to prolonged singleness (e.g. careerism, ducks-in-a-row, life scripts, etc.) as opposed to more permanent disruptions. Almost all adults will still eventually be married or in a cohabitation arrangement by age 45-50 above 90% at the current juncture.

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4 Responses to Marriage and cohabitation data and analysis which refutes common assertions

  1. Anonymous Reader says:

    Thanks for doing this work. As imperfect as surveys always are they do provide actual data. Data is always more useful than our semi wild guesses.

  2. Jack says:

    More data! Fantastic!

    I disagree with this statement.

    “This analysis also refutes the common assertion that there are large scale disruptions (or even much disruptions) in the marriage marketplace in both the secular and Christian manosphere.

    The similarity in the relative outcome beyond age 50 is not sufficient to prove that the marriage market was not already disrupted during the age timeframe in which it mattered the most (18-30 years of age). In fact, your analysis further proves this to be true.

    In my view, a disruption is something that interferes with God’s purposes for marriage and family. Marriage should be happening in the early 20s for women, and maybe early 30s at the latest for men. So if less than 80-90% of people don’t get married (according to some definition) within this timeframe, then the market is disrupted. I also think a divorce rate above 10-15% signifies a disruption.

    Also, there are some typos in your numbers.
    “6-7% jump” should be 5-6%.
    “3% increase in 3 year olds”???
    “I found the first paragraph to be relatively commonplace now though wrong” –> Consider rephrasing for clarity.

    Related
    https://sigmaframe.wordpress.com/2020/10/30/data-on-marriage-and-how-no-fault-divorce-turned-marriage-into-a-revolving-door/
    https://darkbrightness.nz/2020/12/lectionary/9-december-2020/

  3. @ Jack

    The similarity in the relative outcome beyond age 50 is not sufficient to prove that the marriage market was not already disrupted during the age timeframe in which it mattered the most (18-30 years of age). In fact, your analysis further proves this to be true.

    In my view, a disruption is something that interferes with God’s purposes for marriage and family. Marriage should be happening in the early 20s for women, and maybe early 30s at the latest for men. So if less than 80-90% of people don’t get married (according to some definition) within this timeframe, then the market is disrupted. I also think a divorce rate above 10-15% signifies a disruption.

    Perhaps disruption is a poor word. The outcome is similar by 45-50 is what is meant. There are definitely disruptions in the lower bracket.

    We will have to see if the disruptions in the lower bracket will become more permanent over time, or if most of the population will still turn to cohabitation as an alternative form of marriage instead. So far it seems cohabitation almost completely makes up the difference.

    Also, I fixed the number errors. Thanks for pointing them out.

  4. Pingback: The effect of the disruption of the marriage marketplace | Christianity and masculinity

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