74% of Women Have Lived with a Man Before Marriage by Age 30

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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More than ever before women are feeling comfortable moving in with men prior to marriage, according to the National Survey of Family Growth.

Researchers found 74 percent of women ages 15 to 44 have lived with a man before marriage by the time they’re 30, compared to 26 percent of women by the time they’re 20.

The study consisted of interviews from 12,279 women between 2006 and 2010 and also included data from previous reports in 1995 and 2002.

Researchers found 48 percent of women from 2006 to 2010 moved in with a man prior to marriage, up from 43 percent in 2002 and 34 percent in 1995.

Forty percent of those relationships became marriages after three years and about 32 percent continued as cohabitations.


“Seventy-four percent of women ages 15 to 44 have

lived with a man by the time they’re 30.”

What’s more, these relationships are lasting longer than they used to. The average cohabitation relationship now lasts 22 months versus 13 months back in 1995.

The study found 20 percent of women cohabitating outside of marriage get pregnant within the first year.

About 25 percent of births from women ages 15 to 44 occurred while they were cohabitating, up from 14 percent in 2002.

“One take on these data would be that cohabitating families are choosing to stay together, they are becoming more committed and they are seeing their families, many with children, as a legitimate family form and are feeling less pressure to marry. It’s the new normal,” said Pamela J. Smock, research professor at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

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