Unmarried Partner Households in the United States: Description and Trends: 2000 To 2003

Diana B. Elliott, University of Maryland
Jane L. Dye, U.S. Census Bureau

Unmarried partner households now number over 5 million in the U.S., yet few demographic descriptions exist about such households. This poster provides a demographic overview of these households and how they compare to other households in the U.S. Using the American Community Survey (ACS) data from 2000 to 2003, we analyze both opposite-sex unmarried partner households, and same-sex unmarried partner households over time, by state and metropolitan area, by cross-partner characteristics, and by household economic factors. We also compare these households to married couple households to provide a demographic context for further study. Findings suggest that unmarried partner households look very similar to married couple households except on age-related indicators like income and education. Opposite sex unmarried partners tend to be younger, while same-sex unmarried partners tend to be older. These age differences may influence socio-economic differences among unmarried partner households.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 5: Union Formation and Dissolution, Fertility, Family and Well-being