Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 2 months ago

What is the difference between "Married - Spouse Absent" and "Separated" in census data?

1 Answer

  • 2 months ago
    Favourite answer

    Spouse absent implies the spouse and the respondent are still legally married, but one of the two partners is not currently residing where the respondent is.  Like maybe the wife is in the military and away in Iraq for a year's deployment.  That's married-spouse absent.  Expectation is that the absent spouse will return to the residence.

    Separated means the two partners are no longer living together and are legally separated, but not yet divorced.  That happens when the couple is still uncertain about divorce; so they do a trial separation to see how they feel after it's over.  There is no expectation that the separated spouse will or will not return to the residence.

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