Census Data Shows College Educated Couples Less Likely To Cohabit

happy couple living together
Love, Family

How education and cohabitation affect income, marriage and divorce rates.

Pew Research Center has released a new analysis of census data that finds adults without a college degree are twice as likely to cohabit as those with a college degree. The More Expensive Your College, The More You Have Sex

According to the data, 7.5 million couples are cohabitating today, up from 6.7 million couples cohabitating in 2009. Of those numbers, this includes 8 percent of adults without a college education compared to just 4 percent of adults who do have a college education.

When it comes to income, unmarried, cohabiting couples who are less educated earn a lower income ($46,540) than their married counterparts ($56,800), where as unmarried couples who are educated earn more ($106,400) than couples who are married ($101,160).

So what gives?

The analysis suggests that, though more likely to live together, less-educated adults are less likely to realize the economic benefits associated with cohabitation. Reasons for this are, as found in their research, college-educated couples are less likely to have children in the house when they live together as unmarrieds, and it's more likely for both partners to work, bringing in two incomes. Another reason is that college-educated cohabiters are more likely to marry within three years of moving in together than couples with less education. Complete This Sentence: The Best Age To Get Married Is...

The study also found that, in addition to being more money savvy than couples without college degree, educated couples have a lower divorce rate. The New York Times reported last week that, "according to a 2010 study by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, only 11 percent of college-educated Americans divorce within the first 10 years today, compared with almost 37 percent for the rest of the population." 6 Factors That Make You Less Likely To Divorce [INFOGRAPHIC]

Also, in another Marriage Project study last year, college-educated couples who married in the mid-1990s were found 27 percent less likely to divorce in the first 10 years of marriage than college-educated couples who married in the 1970s. This is what Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University, is calling a generational makeover.

"The shift in attitudes and behavior is very real. Among upper-middle-class Americans, the divorce rate is going down, and they're becoming more conservative toward divorce," said Cherlin.

Andrew Hacker, a professor emeritus at Queens College, has a different idea as to way divorce rates are down among the college educated. Report Finds That College Graduates Have Better Marriage

"It could be that among college-educated couples, the men are behaving better and the wives aren’t as interested in getting out. Guys are doing more cooking, and they’re not bad at it!"

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