Cohabitating Unmarried Couples Are on the Rise

The share of American adults who live with an unmarried partner has more than doubled since 1993. The percentage still remains small—3% in 1993, compared to 7% now—but the growing numbers are significant because demographers say it represents a shift in living arrangements. These unmarried couples are increasingly venturing into homeownership together too, researchers say.

The National Association of REALTORS®’ 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers highlighted the growing trend among the higher number of unmarried buyers shopping for a home. While most people who buy together still wait for marriage, unmarried buyers make up a growing share of the market, 9% compared to 8% a year ago. Married buyers made up 61% of the market. That’s down from 73% in 1981, the NAR survey shows.

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