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More Mothers Staying Unmarried

Update Date: Mar 23, 2015 03:45 PM EDT

An increasing number of women are choosing to not marry their partners, according to a new study.

While consensual unions are usually associated with poorer or indigenous populations in Latin America, researchers found that common- law unions have become increasingly popular among higher-income groups in countries like Panama.

While the proportion of college-educated women choosing to have children out of wedlock remains relatively small in Latin America, new research from the INRS Center Urbanization Culture Société reveals a significant rise in Latin America.

"Consensual partnerships among urban, educated people can no longer be viewed merely as precursors to marriage," lead researcher Professor Benoît Laplante said in a news release. "They should be seen as a step in the life-cycle, one which affords the possibility of procreation, as has traditionally been the case in lower socioeconomic strata of Latin American societies."

Furthermore, the latest findings revealed that regardless education level, fertility rates correlate with the fact of living in a conjugal relationship, not with the legal nature of the relationship in Latin American societies. 

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