The expansion of cohabitation in Mexico, 1930–2010 : the revenge of history?
Author(s)Esteve Palós, Albert
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AbstractIn this chapter we use census microdata to examine trends in cohabitation in Mexico between 1930 and 2010. The microdata reveal a dramatic increase in cohabitation since the 1990s. By being able to go further back in time than in the other countries examined in this book, we better document the phase that preceded the post-1990 cohabitation boom. This earlier phase was characterized by the systematic reduction in cohabitation in favor of marriages, which results in an overall U-shaped evolution of cohabitation for the entire period between 1930 and 2010. Judging from the mere cross-sectional profiles and results from multilevel models, one could conclude that recent cohabitation replicates historical differentials. However, several features emerge that strongly mitigate this historical inheritance and fits the Second Demographic Transition theory. Among others, these features include that cohabitation is now a “normal” form of partnership among the expanding top educational groups and that the shift from marriage to prolonged cohabitation is driven by further secularization and an overall shift in values. Time will tell how fast and to what degree the shift to the SDT-type will be occurring in Mexico, but at present it is clear that the shift away from the traditional type is under way.