And that’s becoming even more common than divorce, according to this new report:
The number of Americans with children who live together without marrying has increased twelvefold since 1970, according to a report released Tuesday. The report states that children now are more likely to have unmarried parents than divorced ones.
The report was published by the National Marriage Project, an initiative at the University of Virginia, and the Institute for American Values, two partisan groups that advocate for strengthening the institution of marriage. The report argues that the rise of cohabitation is a growing risk for children, and that their lives are less stable in such families.
According to the National Survey of Family Growth, part of the Centers for Disease Control, 42 percent of children have lived with cohabiting parents by age 12, far more than the 24 percent whose parents have divorced.
The numbers also suggest a correlation with class. Americans with only a high school diploma are far more likely to cohabit than are college graduates, according to the report.
“There’s a two-family model emerging in American life,” said W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and an associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia. “The educated and affluent enjoy relatively strong, stable families. Everyone else is more likely to be consigned to unstable, unworkable ones.”