Do you have any statistics which indicate the dangers of cohabiting and the results on a relationship?

Thank you for your e-mail about cohabitation. Of course, the Bible has something to say about this subject, but let me focus merely on the statistics. (If you are looking for specific citations of these statistics, please see my article Cohabitation. It has 17 citation-rich endnotes.)

Research by Christians and non-Christians in this field consistently finds that living together before you are married will significantly increase your likelihood of a future divorce. There are lots of studies done in this field you would read, but here is a brief summary of the statistical facts about cohabitation:

  1. Percentage of Americans who have cohabited at one time or another: 50%
  2. Percentage of cohabiting couples who go on to marry: 50-60%
  3. Percentage of cohabiting relationships involving children: 40%
  4. Percentage of unions that survive two years:
    Cohabiting unions not leading to marriage: 33%
    Marital unions: 95%
  5. Percentage of unions that survive ten years:
    Cohabiting unions not leading to marriage: 12%
    Marital unions: 90%
  6. Likelihood of divorce within first ten years of marriage:
    Those who cohabit prior to marriage are almost twice as likely to divorce as opposed to those who do not cohabit prior to marriage.

As you can see, living together before you are married can affect your marriage in a deleterious way. Christian and secular research is validating what the Bible has been saying all along.

Kerby Anderson
Probe Ministries


See Also:
“Cohabitation” by Kerby Anderson


Kerby Anderson is president of Probe Ministries International. He holds masters degrees from Yale University (science) and from Georgetown University (government). He is the author of several books, including Christian Ethics in Plain Language, Genetic Engineering, Origin Science, Signs of Warning, Signs of Hope and Making the Most of Your Money in Tough Times. His new series with Harvest House Publishers includes: A Biblical Point of View on Islam, A Biblical Point of View on Homosexuality, A Biblical Point of View on Intelligent Design and A Biblical Point of View on Spiritual Warfare. He is the host of "Point of View" (USA Radio Network) heard on 360 radio outlets nationwide as well as on the Internet ( and shortwave. He is also a regular guest on "Prime Time America" (Moody Broadcasting Network) and "Fire Away" (American Family Radio). He produces a daily syndicated radio commentary and writes editorials that have appeared in papers such as the Dallas Morning News, the Miami Herald, the San Jose Mercury, and the Houston Post.


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