According to this report, from the Pew Research Center, cohabitation may influence the economic stability of couples, although this may vary based on education level. Cohabiting adults with a college education have slightly higher household incomes than married, college-educated adults. On the other hand, cohabiting adults without college degrees had significantly lower household incomes than married adults without college degrees. This discrepancy may be explained by differences in dual-earner status among couples. Fewer educated, married couples are dual-earners, most likely since more of them have children. In contrast, children are present more in cohabiting households of uneducated couples, making both groups less likely to be dual earners if they have children. These findings indicate the importance of workforce development, providing reliable and quality care for children of low-income working parents, establishing stable couple and family relationships, and connecting families to these services for overall better economic outcomes among cohabiting, less educated adults.
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Living Together: The Economics of Cohabitation.