Cohabitation: The pan-America view

Ron J. Lesthaeghe, Albert Esteve

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3 Citations (Scopus)


© The Author(s) 2016. In this concluding chapter we reflect on a series of issues of both a methodological and substantive nature encountered in this research project. Firstly, we must realize that the use of individual census records not only opened vast possibilities, but also entails a number of limitations. Secondly, the very large sample sizes allowed for the disaggregation of national trends into far more detailed spatial, ethnic and educational patterns. This, in its turn, allowed us to adopt a “geo-historical” view of the rise of cohabitation for almost the entire American continent, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Furthermore, statistical analyses could be performed at the individual and contextual levels simultaneously. Results show that the effects of social stratification, religion and ethnicity are continuing to be of major importance. This not only holds at the individual level, but at the contextual level as well. Nevertheless, an entirely new wave of change started rolling over the pre-existing patterns from the 1970s onward. These trends are following a firm course, irrespective of the economic ups and downs. The Americas, as opposed to many Asian societies and Africa, are now following in the European footsteps, be it with their own distinct and path-dependent characteristics associated with regionally varying historical antecedents.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCohabitation and Marriage in the Americas: Geo-Historical Legacies and New Trends
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


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