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Marriage, Cohabitation, and Kids

Andrew Cherlin has a new book coming out today called The Marriage-Go-Round. He’s a first-rate sociologist, and so I’m looking forward to reading it. But for now, he’s teasing us with the following striking fact:

Take two children, one growing up with married parents in the United States, and one growing up with unmarried parents in Sweden; which child has the higher likelihood of seeing his parents’ relationship break up? Answer: the American kid, because children living with married parents in the United States have a higher probability of experiencing a breakup than do children living with unmarried parents in Sweden. That’s how high our breakup rates are.

Amazing. And yet our politicians continue to debate whether to promote formal legal institution of marriage, rather than addressing family life as it is lived. Much more in the full interview with Cherlin, here.