Unmarried Cohabitation in the Americas: Unveiling the Spatial Dimension

Antonio López-Gay, Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Ron J. Lesthaeghe, University of Michigan and University of California, Irvine
Benoît Laplante, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS)
Julián López-Colás, Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Anna Turu, Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Albert Esteve, Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics (CED)

This paper presents the map unmarried cohabitation in the Americas. The map offers a large scale cross-national perspective together with small area estimates of cohabitation. Census microdata from 41 countries and more than 17,000 units have been pulled together to map the percentage of cohabitation among women in union aged 25 to 29. From Canada to Argentina, results show inter- and intra-national contrasting regional patterns. The highest rates of cohabitation are found in areas of Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia and Peru. The lowest rates are mainly found in the United States and Mexico. Brazil, Argentina and Chile occupy intermediate positions. In all countries, there is substantial spatial heterogeneity, as indicated by spatial autocorrelation statistics. Our results beg the question as to which forces have shaped these patterns and remind us that such forces need to be taken into account to understand recent patterns and rises in cohabitation.

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Presented in Session 120: Trends and Variability in Unions