The Realization of Marriage Plans among Cohabiting Couples in Scandinavia

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

The Scandinavian countries most likely have the highest levels of cohabitation in the Western world. Still, most people do get married eventually. Earlier analyses have shown that both 'love' and 'money' are associated with cohabitors' intention to marry their current partner. This paper intends to study the extent to which those with positive marriage intentions actually realize their plans and do get married within the next few years. In other words, are marriage intentions reasonably good predictors of actual marriage in a short time perspective? And which factors increase the probability of a wedding actually taking place? We utilize data from two postal surveys conducted in 2003, one in Norway and one in Sweden. We thus have a joint data set with about 1600 women and men aged 25-35 who were cohabiting in 2003, and combine this with register data on marriages in 2003-2008.

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Presented in Poster Session 3