Cohabitation

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See more resources on Cohabitation in the AIFS library catalogue

World family map 2019: mapping family change and child well-being outcomes

Institute for Family Studies (Charlottesville, VA), Wheatley Institution, Social Trends Institute
Charlottesville, VA : Institute for Family Studies, 2019.
The World Family Map report series aims to broaden our understanding about how family characteristics affect children and youth around the world. It will map trends in family structure, family socioeconomics, family processes, and family culture. Information is presented on: living arrangements, marriage and cohabitation, childbearing and fertility, non-marital childbearing, poverty and child poverty, undernourishment, parental education and employment, public spending on family benefits, family life satisfaction, communication and family meals, public attitudes and traditional family values. This 2019 edition provides data from 49 countries from both developed and developing regions, including Australia as available. It also features a special essay, 'The ties that bind: is faith a global force for good or ill in the family?', which addresses that question by considering the relationship between religion and four key family outcomes: relationship quality, fertility, domestic violence and infidelity. The essay uses data from the World Values Survey and the Global Family and Gender Survey, for Argentina, Australia, Chile, Canada, Colombia, France, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Mind the 'happiness' gap : the relationship between cohabitation, marriage, and subjective well-being in the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and Norway.

Perelli-Harris B, Hoherz S, Lappegard T and Evans A
Demography v. 56 no. 4 Aug 2019: 1219-1246
There is a growing body of research into whether cohabitating people enjoy the same high rates of well-being as married people, but the studies face issues such as transitions in partnership status over the life course, bias in propensity to marry, and differences in the acceptance and meaning of cohabitation in a society. This article aims to address some of these issues. It investigates the impact of childhood background and current circumstances, it examines individuals in midlife rather than earlier in the life course, it compares individuals who have a lower or higher propensity to marry, and it investigates differences in four countries: Australia, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom. The findings provide new insights into how union status affects wellbeing. Overall, it finds no differences between marriage and cohabitation once selection and relationship satisfaction are taken into account.

Marriage rates in Australia

Australian Institute of Family Studies
Southbank, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019.
This webpage provides charts and infographics on marriage trends in Australia to 2017. Drawing on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it looks at the number of marriages, the crude marriage rate, living together before marriage, and religious vs civil weddings. Despite the fact that the Australian population had doubled since the early 1970s, in 2017 there were fewer marriages than in 1970.

The consequences of extending equitable property division divorce laws to cohabitants

Chigavazira A, Fisher H, Robinson T and Zhu A
Indooroopilly, Qld. : Life Course Centre, Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland, 2019.
From March 2009, unmarried couples were granted the same post-separation financial rights as married couples across Australia. This paper investigates whether these new rights have affected unmarried couples' investment in their relationship, in terms of household specialisation, male breadwinner and female home maker roles, having more children, and becoming home owners. Overall, partner, and financial satisfaction are also considered. The paper compares married and cohabitating people's behaviours and attitudes, using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. Since the law reform, men have increased their employment, women have increased time spent on housework, and couples are more likely to have more children and become home owners. The findings indicate that a potentially unintended consequence of this law reform is that they make unmarried couples behave more like married couples, with unmarried couples more likely to make such relationship-specific investments now that laws provide for the equitable redistribution of property in the event of relationship breakdown.

A demographic, attitudinal, and behavioral profile of cohabiting adults in the United States, 2011-2015

Nugent C and Daugherty J
Hyattsville, MD : National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 2018.
This paper compares the characteristics and views of cohabitating, married, and single adults in the United States in the 18-44 age group. It makes national estimates based on data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), drawing on data for 2011-2013 and 2013-2015 from 8,292 women and 6,674 men. The paper considers differences in fertility, family formation, childbearing, and sexual behavior, and attitudes about sexual behavior, use of contraception, living together before marriage, marriage, divorce, single parenthood, and childbearing. Current cohabiters were more likely than both married and single people to be supportive of nontraditional family living arrangements, to have had their first sexual intercourse before the age of 18, and to have not received a high school diploma.

Marriages and divorces, Australia 2017

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra, ACT : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2018.
This website presents statistics on marriage and divorce in Australia for 2017, with trends from 1997. For marriage, information is provided on: total number, crude marriage rate, median age at marriage, age specific marriage rates, previous marital status, marriage celebrants, country of birth, cohabitation prior to marriage, month of marriage, and state and territory rates. For divorce, information is provided on: total number, crude divorce rate, age at separation and divorce, age-specific divorce rates, divorces involving children, duration of marriage prior to divorce, applicant, and state and territory rates. In 2017, 112,954 marriages were registered and 49,032 divorces were granted. This edition also marks the first release of preliminary findings on the number of same sex marriages in Australia. 3,149 same-sex weddings were held between 9 December 2017 - when amendments to the Marriage Act came into effect - and 30 June 2018. Information is presented as data cube spreadsheets, charts, and a text discussion.

Making and unmaking families.

Hewitt B and Brady M
Shaver, Sheila, ed. Handbook on gender and social policy. Cheltenham, UK : Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018: 289-306
This chapter looks at the history of marriage and divorce shows in Western nations over the last few centuries and highlights how it has evolved. It discusses changes in prescribed gender roles, the rise of women's rights, property and paternity rights within cohabitating couples, and the emergence of marriage equality for same-sex couples. Family life has changed dramatically over the past several decades in most developed western countries, though the role of government and law in family life is extensive and pervasive. Though Western countries have removed laws that explicitly discriminate against women, gendered consequences remain: for example, women continue to take on much more of the housework and childcare duties.

Do marriage and cohabitation provide benefits to health in mid-life? The role of childhood selection mechanisms and partnership characteristics across countries.

Perelli-Harris B, Hoherz S, Addo F, Lappegard T, Evans A, Sassler S and Styrc M
Population Research and Policy Review v. 37 no. 5 Oct 2018: 703-728
Research has found that married people enjoy better health - but what about cohabiting people? And is it due to the individual characteristics that make people choose different types of unions? This article uses longitudinal data from five countries to investigate the association of marital status and health in middle aged people. It compares a range of factors including partnership and marital status, parenthood status, union duration and experience of separation, education and employment, family structure in childhood and the socio-economic status of parents, and national and regional social and economic differences. Data is taken from Australia, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The findings show that living with a partner - married or unmarried - is positively associated with health, but the strength of the association is reduced or eliminated by other social and national factors.

Marriage and divorce rates

Australian Institute of Family Studies
Southbank, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2018.
This webpage provides charts and infographics on marriage trends in Australia to 2016. Drawing on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it looks at the number of marriages, the crude marriage rate, living together before marriage, religious vs civil weddings, the crude divorce rate from 1901 to 2016, age at divorce, and the proportion of divorces involving children. In 2016, there were 4.9 marriages per 1,000 Australian residents - down from 9.3 in 1970.

Census 2016 : location and education affects how many children you have.

Evans A and Gray E
ANU Newsroom 27 Jun 2017
Using new statistics from 2016 Australian Census of Population and Housing, this news item highlights recent trends in the nature of families in Australia. The census counted 6.1 million families in Australia in 2016. As well as the increase in cohabitation, there are also increasing numbers of people in an intimate relationship with a person with whom they do not live. This figure is hidden in the census however, and other research estimates that about 25% of the reported 'single' population are actually partnered. Couples reporting a same-sex relationship has also increased, up 39% from 2011. The census also reveals how having children is not distributed evenly across the population, with differences by location and education. Women are increasingly having fewer or no children - 17% of women aged 40-44 are childless.

Comparing the benefits of cohabitation and marriage for health in mid-life: is the relationship similar across countries?

Perelli-Harris B, Styrc M, Addo F, Hoherz S, Lappegard T, Sassler S and Evans A
Southampton, UK : ESRC Centre for Population Change, 2017.
"Extensive research has found that marriage provides health benefits to individuals. The rise of cohabitation, however, raises questions about whether simply being in an intimate co-residential partnership conveys the same health benefits as marriage. Here we use OLS regression to compare differences between cohabitation and marriage with respect to self-rated health in mid-life, an understudied part of the lifecourse. We pay particular attention to selection mechanisms arising in childhood to investigate how early life conditions shape later life outcomes. We compare results in five countries with different social, economic, and policy contexts. Results show no differences in self-rated health between cohabiting and married people in Norway, Germany, and for Australian women. In the U.K, and U.S., and for Australian men, however, marriage is significantly associated with better health. Much of this association disappears when accounting for childhood disadvantage and union duration in the U.S., Australia, and for British women, but differences persist for British men. Our study indicates that early life conditions can be an important source of selection for explaining marriage benefits, and that policy makers should focus on reducing disadvantage in childhood rather than legislating incentives to marry in adulthood."--Author abstract.

Families and households, 2017

Great Britain. Office for National Statistics
Newport, Wales : Office for National Statistics, 2017.
This annual series provides information on trends in living arrangements in the United Kingdom, including families, couples, households, people living alone, young adults living with their parents, and people in shared accommodation. Estimates are based on social survey data from the latest Labour Force Survey household dataset. This edition presents the latest information for 2017, with some trends since 1996. In 2017, there were 19.0 million family households, 27.2 million households in total, and 3.9 million people living alone in the United Kingdom.

World family map 2017: mapping family change and child well-being outcomes

Social Trends Institute, Institute for Family Studies (Charlottesville, VA)
New York : Social Trends Institute, 2017.
The World Family Map report series aims to broaden our understanding about how family characteristics affect children and youth around the world. It will map trends in family structure, family socioeconomics, family processes, and family culture. Information is presented on: living arrangements, marriage and cohabitation, childbearing and fertility, non-marital childbearing, poverty and child poverty, undernourishment, parental education and employment, public spending on family benefits, family life satisfaction, communication and family meals, public attitudes and traditional family values. This 2017 edition provides data from 49 countries from both developed and developing regions, including Australia as available. It also features a special essay, 'The cohabitation go-round: cohabitation and family instability across the globe', which compares children's experience of instability and family transitions in cohabitating and married families, drawing on data from the United States and 16 European countries. The essay finds that children born into cohabiting families are more likely to see their parents split by age 12 than children born into married families in almost every country. However, these children do at least experience far fewer family transitions than children born to single women. Previous editions of this series were produced by Child Trends Inc.

Comparing child poverty risk by family structure during the 2008 recession

Rothwell D and McEwen A
Journal of Marriage and Family v. 79 no. 5 Oct 2017: 1224-1240
Research has found that children in non-married families are at great risk of poverty. This article investigates how market and policy forces shape this association, with a study of families from liberal welfare states during the 2008 recession. Data is taken from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) for four non-married family types - cohabitating, single father-headed, single mother-headed, and single mother living with adults - in five countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It looks at the risk of poverty for these children as the recession commences, how risk compares across the five countries, the impact of transfers in offsetting child poverty, and whether these effects were distributed equally across the family types. Although these five countries share many similarities, the article finds considerable differences in child poverty risk based on marital status and gender of the household head.

Perceptions of polyamory in Canada

Boyd J
Calgary, AB : Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, 2017.
"This report presents a detailed analysis and discussion of the data collected from a national survey undertaken in the summer of 2016. It examines the sociodemographic attributes and attitudes of people identifying as polyamorous, the composition of polyamorous relationships and perceptions of polyamorous relationships in Canada, with the goal of obtaining a better understanding of the prevalence and nature of polyamory to inform the development of family justice policy and legislation. It is the second Institute report on polyamory, the first of which focused on the application of the law on domestic relations to those involved polyamorous relationships."

Polyamorous relationships and family law in Canada

Boyd J
Calgary, AB : Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, 2017.
"This paper provides a discussion of polyamorous relationships, the legal distinction between relationships that are polyamorous and marriages that are bigamous and polygamous, and how polyamorous relationships are and are not accommodated by the domestic relations legislation of Canada's common law provinces. The paper includes an initial analysis of a study by the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family on perceptions of polyamory in Canada, the demographics of Canadian polyamorists and their attitudes toward their relationships. The paper concludes with a number of recommendations directed to family law lawyers dealing with polyamorous clients, including the establishment of specialized practice associations to share knowledge and develop expertise on the unique legal needs of polyamorous families."

Marriages and divorces, Australia 2016

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra, ACT : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017.
This publication presents statistics on marriage and divorce in Australia for 2016, with trends from 1996. For marriage, information is provided on: total number, crude marriage rate, median age at marriage, age specific marriage rates, previous marital status, marriage celebrants, country of birth, cohabitation prior to marriage, month of marriage, and state and territory rates. For divorce, information is provided on: total number, crude divorce rate, age at separation and divorce, age-specific divorce rates, divorces involving children, duration of marriage prior to divorce, applicant, and state and territory rates. In 2016, there were 118,401 marriages registered and 46,604 divorces granted in Australia. Overall, Australians are marrying later, living together before marriage, and divorcing less compared with 20 years ago. The use of relationship registers in many states and territories has also continued to grow as an alternative to marriage, with 10.8% of all relationships now being formalised.

Attitudes to marriage, parenting and work.

Wilkins R
The Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey : selected findings from Waves 1 to 15. Melbourne, Vic. : Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, 2017: 98-109
This chapter looks at trends in community attitudes to marriage, parenting and work, using data from the first 15 waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, which were conducted between 2001 and 2015. It examines how community attitudes have shifted on such issues as: the indissolubility of marriage, cohabitation, children needing a mother and a father, having children as a single woman, the rights of same-sex couples, mothers and careers, housework division and sex role, child care for the under 3s, young people leaving home, and child custody with mothers. Differences by gender, age cohort, recent life events, and other characteristics are discussed. While there are exceptions, attitudes have become more non-traditional between 2005 and 2015, in particular on the view that homosexual couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Families and households in the UK, 2016

Great Britain. Office for National Statistics
Newport, Wales : Office for National Statistics, 2016.
This annual series provides information on trends in living arrangements in the United Kingdom, including families, couples, households, people living alone, young adults living with their parents, and people in shared accommodation. Estimates are based on social survey data from the latest Labour Force Survey household dataset. This edition presents the latest information for 2016, with some trends since 1996. In 2016, there were 18.9 million family households, with 12.7 million of these being married or civil partner couple families. Note, civil partnerships were introduced in 2005 and marriage was amended to include same sex couples in 2014. There were 13.9 million dependent children living in families in the UK in 2016: the number living in lone parent families has changed little over the last decade but the number in cohabiting couple families has increased by about 10% while the number in married couple families has fallen proportionately.

Trends in attitudes about marriage, childbearing, and sexual behavior: United States, 2002, 2006-2010, and 2011-2013

Daugherty J and Copen C
Hyattsville, MD : National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 2016.
This report describes attitudes about marriage, childbearing, and sexual behavior among men and women aged 15-44 in the United States based on the 2002, 2006-2010, and 2011-2013 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) ... From 2002 to 2011-2013, there was an increase in the percentages of men and women who agreed with premarital cohabitation, nonmarital childbearing, the right for gay and lesbian adults to adopt children, same-sex sexual relations, and premarital sex for those aged 18. There was a decrease in the percentages of men and women who agreed with divorce. There was no change in the percentages of men and women who agreed with premarital sex for those aged 16. There was no change from 2006-2010 to 2011-2013 in attitudes regarding marriage, cohabitation and the risk of divorce, the necessity of having children for one's happiness, and raising children in a cohabiting union. Several of the attitudinal items varied significantly by age group for both men and women."

Marriage, penalized: does social-welfare policy affect family formation?

Wilcox W, Price J and Rachidi A
Charlottesville, VA : Institute for Family Studies, 2016
A substantial share of lower-middle-class couples with children in America receive government assistance - and many of these couples receive more generous support if they are unmarried. This 'marriage penalty' makes it more financially attractive for couples to cohabit rather than marry. This paper investigates whether the marriage penalties associated with means-tested policies in America affect family formation. It finds that these benefits do not discourage marriage among the poorest families, but marriage penalties may play a role in discouraging marriage among lower-middle-class families. Based on these findings, the paper argues that the federal government should consider strategies to address the marriage penalties embedded within social-welfare policies, with specific recommendations presented.

Marriages and divorces, Australia 2015

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra, ACT : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016.
This publication presents statistics on marriage and divorce in Australia for 2015, with trends from 1995. For marriage, information is provided on: total number, crude marriage rate, median age at marriage, age specific marriage rates, previous marital status, marriage celebrants, country of birth, cohabitation prior to marriage, month of marriage, and state and territory rates. For divorce, information is provided on: total number, crude divorce rate, age at separation and divorce, age-specific divorce rates, divorces involving children, duration of marriage prior to divorce, applicant, and state and territory rates. In 2015, there were 113,595 marriages registered and 48,517 divorces granted in Australia.

The modern Australian family

Baxter J
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2016.
The Facts Sheet provides a range of statistical information on families in Australia today. It explores the different phases of family - from the families we live in as children to the families we form as we grow older - as well as some of the stressors we face and who we turn to for support. Data is taken from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), and the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. Topics include: children's living arrangements, contact with separated parents, changes in living arrangements across young adulthood, contact with parents and siblings in adulthood, attitudes to marriage and cohabitation, relationship status across different age groups, sources of support, living arrangements of refugees and migrants, and reported stressors. This Facts Sheet has been prepared to celebrate the 2016 National Families Week, with this year's theme being 'Stronger Families, Stronger Communities'.

The life satisfaction advantage of being married and gender specialization.

Mikucka M
Journal of Marriage and Family v. 78 no. 3 Jun 2016: 759-779
Whilst earlier research showed that married persons are happier and more satisfied with their lives than unmarried persons, newer research suggests that this marriage 'advantage' is on the wane. This article investigates life satisfaction trends over the last 3 decades, using combined data from 87 countries, in the World Values Survey-European Values Study. As well as comparing married and unmarried people, the article also considers whether the trend from gender specialisation to more gender role equality in couples accounts for this change. The article finds that the life satisfaction advantage of being married is in decline for men only - and can be seen in countries of varying levels of development. The findings do not support the theory that the decline in contextual gender specialisation accounts for this decline - indeed, for developed countries, the life satisfaction of unmarried people increased as the contextual gender specialisation declined.

Family laws and access to justice.

Parkinson P
EGM on Family Policy Development - Achievements and Challenges, 14-15 May 2015. New York : United Nations Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, 2015: 30p
This paper provide a brief overview of some trends in family life and family law in countries with a Judaeo-Christian tradition, with a focus on North America, Europe, and Australia. It discusses the rise of the no-fault divorce model, the transformation in custody law, the trend towards encouraging shared parenting after divorce, promoting the rights of women in family life and family violence, children's right to participation in matters that concern them, recognising non-marital cohabitation, the growth in the numbers of children whose parents live apart, pressures of family courts and their workload, the role of mediation, and the extent to which predictability in decision-making can be achieved in family law cases. This brief overview highlights not only the pace of change in families and family law systems but also the challenges that demographic changes in family life pose for governments and courts. The paper concludes with some recommendations for government policy. The paper and the slides from the presentation are available.

Australian family law in context : commentary and materials.

Parkinson P
Pyrmont, N.S.W. : Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia, 2015.
This text book for law students examines the operation of family law in Australia. Featuring notes and questions for discussion, it examines the context of families and family law, the resolution of family disputes, the formation and dissolution of marriage, economic aspects of relationship breakdown, and children in family law.

Families and households, 2015

Great Britain. Office for National Statistics
Newport, Wales : Office for National Statistics, 2015.
This annual series provides information on trends in living arrangements in the United Kingdom, including families, couples, households, and people living alone. This edition presents the latest information for 2015, with trends since 1996, for: number of families by type, married and cohabitating couples, children in families by type, family size and one-child families, young adults living with their parents, number of households by type, household size, and people living alone. In 2015 there were 18.7 million families in the UK and 27.0 million households. 35% of all households were two person households. Note, this edition also provides statistics on same sex married couple families for the first time.

Marriage and child wellbeing revisited

Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Brookings Institution
Princeton, NJ : The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Brookings Institution, 2015

Marriages and divorces, Australia 2014

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra, ACT : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015.
This publication presents statistics on marriage and divorce in Australia for 2014, with trends from 1994. For marriage, information is provided on: total number, crude marriage rate, median age at marriage, age specific marriage rates, previous marital status, marriage celebrants, country of birth, cohabitation prior to marriage, month of marriage, and state and territory rates. For divorce, information is provided on: total number, crude divorce rate, age at separation and divorce, age-specific divorce rates, divorces involving children, duration of marriage prior to divorce, applicant, and state and territory rates. In 2014, there were 121,197 marriages registered in Australia, with most (79.4%) between couples who had lived together prior to marriage.

Living together in Australia

Australian Institute of Family Studies
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2015
This webpage provides charts and statistics on cohabitation in Australia. Data is provided to 2011 or 2013 as available. It looks at trends in marriages preceded by cohabitation, cohabiting couples as percentage of all couples, people aged 15 or over who were married or cohabiting, and cohabitation by age and gender.
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