New Study from Population and Development Review Finds that Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing Has Become Increasingly Common among Highly Educated Women in 13 Latin American Countries
NEW YORK (18 March 2015) — “Consensual unions”—two people living in the same dwelling in a relationship akin to marriage—have been an integral part of family life in Latin America for centuries. In fact, in Latin America, legal marriages and consensual unions are seen as similarly acceptable family arrangements for bearing and raising children. However, consensual unions have historically been more common among disadvantaged populations and in rural areas than among more advantaged populations and in urban areas—indicating that such unions are rooted in limited economic and social opportunities. But a study in the March 2015 issue of Population and Development Review finds that childbearing within a consensual union among highly educated women has transitioned from rare to increasingly common in 13 Latin American countries. Population and Development Review is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal published by the Population Council.