The boom of cohabitation in Colombia and in the andean region: Social and spatial patterns

Albert Esteve, A. Carolina Saavedra, Julián López-Colás, Antonio López-Gay, Ron J. Lesthaeghe

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© The Author(s) 2016. In this chapter we use census microdata to document the rise in cohabitation in Colombia and in the Andean countries of Ecuador, Bolivia, Perú and Venezuela over the last four decades. We use multilevel logistic regression models to examine the effect of individual and contextual variables on cohabitation. We show the individual and contextual effects of social stratification, ethnicity and religion on cohabitation. Cohabitation levels follow a negative gradient with education and vary according to ethnic background. The Bolivian, Ecuadorian and Peruvian censuses reveal that the two largest ethnic groups (i.e. the Quechua and Aymara) have, controlling for other characteristics, the lowest incidence of cohabitation. By contrast, Afro-American populations show the highest levels of cohabitation. The joint use of individual- and contextual-level explanatory variables is sufficient to account for the majority of Bolivia’s internal diversity regarding cohabitation, but not sufficient to account for the internal diversity identified in Colombia, Peru or Ecuador. Even after controls, residence in the Andes mountain areas continues to be a factor associated with lower levels of cohabitation. This invites further investigations on how the institutionalization of marriage occurred in the Andes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCohabitation and Marriage in the Americas: Geo-historical Legacies and New Trends.
Editors ESTEVE, A.
Place of Publication
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


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