Cohabitation in Brazil: historical legacy and recent evolution

Type Conference Paper - VI Congreso de la Asociación Latinoamericana de Población
Title Cohabitation in Brazil: historical legacy and recent evolution
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
City Lima
Country/State Peru
The paper makes use of IPUMS micro-data of successive Brazilian censuses since 1970
and of multi-level logistic regression to document the effects of individual and
contextual covariates on the incidence of cohabitation among young women, age 25-29.
Not only levels of cohabitation for 136 Brazilian meso-regions are investigated, but also
the differential pace of the rise of this phenomenon since the 1970s. In addition, also the
changes in educational profiles over time for successive cohorts are considered in
greater detail. The results indicate that historical regional patterns still clearly prevail
after controls for all individual characteristics, and that the rise in cohabitation occurred
in all regions and all social strata, be it at slightly different paces. White and Catholic
meso-regions are catching up, and only urban areas exhibit a slower pace of change. In
other words, substantial contextual effects have to be added to the individual level ones.
These findings are consistent with the interpretation that a new “layer” of cohabitation
inspired by a “second demographic transition” has been added on top of the pre-existing
and still persistent historical spatial pattern. The findings also indicate that, despite a
major de-stigmatization of cohabitation, the “willingness factor”, i.e. religious and
cultural acceptability, is still playing a major differentiating role in the various Brazilian
social strata and regions.

Related studies