The association between cohabiters' marriage intentions and marital behavior in Norway and Sweden

Turid Noack, Statistics Norway
Eva Bernhardt, Stockholm University
Kenneth Aarskaug Wiik, Statistics Norway
Torkild Hovde Lyngstad, University of Oslo

Using a unique combination of survey data and register data, we investigate the correspondence between cohabitors’ marriage intentions (as stated in two nationally representative surveys) and their subsequent actual behavior (as shown by marital histories from official registers five years later) in Norway and Sweden. In particular, we investigate what groups of cohabitors fulfill their marriage intentions. Methodologically, the follow-up approach taken allows us to investigate how powerful marriage intentions are as predictors of future marital behavior. Preliminary analyses reveal that cohabitors’ marriage intentions are fairly strong predictors of future marital behavior: 71 % of the cohabitors with concrete intentions married within five years.

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Presented in Session 76: Transitions in the family formation process

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