A Multistate Life Table Analysis of Union Regimes in the United States: Trends and Racial Differentials, 1970-2002.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We estimate trends and racial differentials in marriage, cohabitation, union formation and dissolution (union regimes) for the period 1970-2002 in the United States. These estimates are based on an innovative application of multistate life table analysis to pooled survey data. Our analysis demonstrates (1) a dramatic increase in the lifetime proportions of transitions from never-married, divorced or widowed to cohabiting; (2) a substantial decrease in the stability of cohabiting unions; (3) a dramatic increase in mean ages at cohabiting after divorce and widowhood; (4) a substantial decrease in direct transition from never-married to married; (5) a significant decrease in the overall lifetime proportion of ever marrying and re-marrying in the 1970s to 1980s but a relatively stable pattern in the 1990s to 2000-2002; and (6) a substantial decrease in the lifetime proportion of transition from cohabiting to marriage. We also present, for the first time, comparable evidence on differentials in union regimes between four racial groups.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zeng, Y; Morgan, SP; Wang, Z; Gu, D; Yang, C

Published Date

  • April 1, 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 / 2

PubMed ID

  • 24179311

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3810991

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0167-5923

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11113-011-9217-2


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands