Same-sex marriage has become possible in many countries
Long-run data on the share of people living in cohabitation across countries is not available, but some related datapoints are: In particular, the proportion of births outside marriage provide a relevant proxy measure, allowing comparisons across countries and time; if more unmarried people are having children, it suggests that more people are entering long-term cohabiting relationships without first getting married. It isn’t a perfect proxy – as we’ll see below, rates of single parenting have also changed, meaning that rates of births outside marriage will not match perfectly with cohabitation rates – but it provides some information regarding the direction of change.
As we can see, the share of children born outside of marriage has increased substantially in almost all OECD countries in recent decades. The exception is Japan, where there has been only a very minor increase.
In 1970, most OECD countries saw less than 10% of children born outside of , the share had increased to more than 20% in most countries, and to more than half in some.
The trend is not restricted to very rich countries. In Mexico and Costa Rica, for example, the increase has been very large, and today the majority of children are born to unmarried parents.
Globally, the percentage of women in either marriage or cohabitation is decreasing, but only slightly
In recent decades there has been a e time that there has been an increase in cohabitation. What’s the combined effect if we consider marriage and cohabitation together?
The chart below plots estimates and projections, from the UN Population Division, for the percentage of women of reproductive age (15 to 49 years) who are either married or living with an unmarried partner. (more…)