In the period 1988-1998 the percentage of people aged over 25 living together without being married more than doubled. For women there is also a rise in the age category 20-24 years, caused by the fact that women usually live with men who are a few years older than themselves. The total share of people living together also rose in this period.
The increase is smaller for women aged 20-24 years than for women aged over 25. For men aged 20-24 years there is even no growth at all, because of an increase in the proportion of single men in this age group. More and more young men live alone for a time after leaving home, and postpone cohabitation.
Not only are more and more people living together without being married, they also do so for a longer period of time. An increasing number of couples postpone marriage, or even do not get married at all as they do not perceive starting a family as a reason to get married. In the Netherlands, one in five children are born to unmarried couples.