As cohabitation gains favor, shotgun weddings fade

4:01 PM, Jan 6, 2014   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (AP) - No longer taboo, living together has become a more common arrangement for America's dating couples who become parents. It's a cultural shift since the days of so-called shotgun weddings to avoid family embarrassment over an unplanned pregnancy.

Soon-to-be-released government research portrays an ever-changing American family.

The share of unmarried couples who opt to move in together after a pregnancy surpassed what demographers call "shotgun marriages" for the first time over the last decade. That's according to a forthcoming paper from the National Center for Health Statistics.

It's the latest demographic tipping point as cohabitations turn mainstream.

About 18.1 percent of all single women who became pregnant opted to move in with their boyfriends. That is compared to 5.3 percent who chose to have a post-conception marriage.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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