, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 237–245

How does POSSLQ measure up? Historical estimates of cohabitation

Living Arrangements

DOI: 10.2307/2648125

Cite this article as:
Casper, L.M. & Cohen, P.N. Demography (2000) 37: 237. doi:10.2307/2648125


We use March Current Population Survey (CPS) data from 1977 to 1997 to produce a new historical series of indirect cohabitation prevalence estimates. We compare our new estimates with those produced by the traditional method and evaluate the new estimates. We then compare the indirect estimates with the new direct estimates to investigate whether biases exist in the indirect estimates. Our findings indicate that the traditional indirect method of estimating cohabitation prevalence underestimates cohabitors in different subpopulations, especially among those with children. We also find that the new indirect measure produces relatively unbiased estimates of cohabitors’ characteristics.

Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fertility and Family Statistics Branch, U.S. Census BureauNational Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentBethesda
  2. 2.Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch, Center for Population ResearchNational Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentBethesda
  3. 3.Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau and Department of SociologyUniversity of California, IrvineUSA

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