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Cohabitation and Marriage in the Americas: Geo-historical Legacies and New Trends

21st April 2016 3pm, University of Southampton, 58/1023

Albert Esteve, Demographic Studies Center (CED), Spain

In this presentation, I document the very considerable rise in unmarried cohabitation in the Americas since the 1970s. I trace the social and geographic profiles of unmarried cohabitation to unveil the rich social and spatial heterogeneity in cohabitation. I show that the effects of social stratification, religion and ethnicity are continuing to be of major importance and that historical pattern of disadvantage is still in evidence, virtually everywhere in the Americas. This not only holds at the individual level but at the contextual level as well. In all countries for which contextual analyses could be performed with a finer spatial resolution, it was found that the contextual effects were highly significant and, even more importantly, entirely robust for controls for individual characteristics, which remind us that individuals have histories, but regions have much longer histories. Nevertheless, an entirely new wave of change started rolling over the pre-existing patterns from the 1970s onward. I will discuss the convergence of these trends to the Second Demographic Transition.