Marriage is steadily declining around the world as more couples choose to live together instead, a report revealed.
Cohabiting parents in the U.S. usually have a higher risk of splitting up than married couples do, according to an American Enterprise Institute report.
Twenty percent of U.S. children are born to cohabiting parents. These children are almost 50 percent more likely to see their parents break up before they reach the age of 12. Married couples, on the other hand, have an 18 percent change of breaking up before that age.
Latin American countries are also experiencing a rise in cohabitation. The amount of children who had cohabiting parents went up to 38 percent in Mexico in 2010. Cohabiting parents in South Africa also went up to 18 percent in 2011 from 9 percent in 1996.
European countries also experience issues with cohabiting parents. Compared to married couples, cohabiting parents are 90 percent more likely to split up before their children reach the age of 12.
“To be sure, the story about marriage and family stability in Europe is not universal—cohabiting families, for instance, are equally stable in Bulgaria. But in 12 out of the 16 countries we studied in Europe, this marital stability premium applied to children in general as well as to children from highly educated families,” the report stated.
Some sociologists warn that such patterns could bring instability into children’s lives.
“Children who experience their parents’ breakup and then additional family transitions are, among other things, more likely to be unhappy and to be disruptive in school as well as to end up pregnant as a teenager and without a college degree,” according to the report.
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