Studies on Europe and the U.S. indicate that marriage has been postponed, cohabitation has increased, and unions are more likely to dissolve. However, no study has been able to capture all of these dimensions simultaneously. Here we use latent class growth models to trace the complexity of union formation in the United States and 14 countries in Europe. We examine how union status can change between the ages of 15-45 for women born 1945-74. After determining the optimal number of latent classes, we calculate the probability of falling into each class by country and cohort. This shows the heterogeneity of union patterns across countries and over time. In all countries, changes in relationship patterns have been driven by the postponement of marriage, while premarital cohabitation and separation have varied more by region. Cohabitation has emerged as its own class but is not yet identical to marriage.
Using data on individuals born 1946 to 1972 from the Norwegian Generations and Gender Survey (N = 7,587) we examine differentials in the number and incidence of co-residential relationships by gender and socioeconomic status. Regarding number of relationships, we found that women and younger respondents more often than men and older respondents reported having had two or more unions. 10% of the men and 5% of the women had no union experience by age 35. Controlling for relevant characteristics, our multivariate results showed that high income men experienced fewer unions than lower income men. Having a low income increased the odds of remaining single among men, whereas there was a positive association between tertiary education and remaining unpartnered among women.
The pattern of family formation has drastically changed in European countries since the 1960s. While the character of this change, such as the emergence and spread of cohabiting unions or the rising age at first marriage is to a large extent similar between countries, then the timing of changes is diverse. This paper addresses the emergence of cohabitation as a form of entering into first union in Estonia over the period of 1960-2004. The data is derived from Estonian Gender and Generations Survey 2004-2005, only female population is analysed. The sample includes 3543 native women and 1473 women of foreign-origin who have moved to the country during the post-war period mainly from Russian Federation and its hinterland. This proportion corresponds to the overall share of native and foreign-origin population in Estonian society, where post-war migrants and their decedents are forming around one third of the total population. Entering into first union is treated as a process with two possible transitions - the transition from the state of single and never partnered into direct marriage or the transition into cohabiting union. The general trend is that the standardised marriage rate falls while the intensity of forming cohabiting unions becomes a dominant form of entering into first union. Among native population in Estonia the shift from direct marriage to cohabitation took place already at the first half of 1970s, and followed a trajectory close to Scandinavian countries. Thus the emergence of cohabitation cannot be connected with political and economical change in the 1990s. Among the population of foreign origin the same shift was experienced 20 years later - quite similarly to the trend reported in case of Russia. This finding suggests that the influence of the country of origin on demographic patterns of immigrant population is maintained over generations.
A growing body of research documents the persistent relevance of religiosity for partnership and reproductive behaviour in Europe. This study expands the current knowledge by analysing whole union and fertility trajectories – i.e. entering cohabitation versus direct marriage, non-marital childbearing, number of children, divorce – instead of focusing on single events as previous research did. It is based on data from the first wave of the Austrian Generations and Gender Survey (2008/09) and includes 1,249 women and men aged 40-45. Using sequence analysis, respondents are first clustered around several template family life paths. Afterwards, the role of religiosity in following one rather than another path is ascertained with the help of multinomial logit regression. Four aspects – affiliation, mass attendance, self-assessed religiosity and religious socialisation – are considered. Compared to their less religious peers, religious people are more likely to choose direct marriage rather than prior cohabitation. Yet they prefer the latter option over more ‘adverse’ life paths involving non-marital childbearing, sequential cohabitation and divorce. Permanent singlehood without children is equally widespread among both groups. Differences in religiosity play a minor role in explaining why people have two or three children, once they have decided to enter premarital cohabitation or to marry directly.
Perelli-Harris, B. and Kreyenfeld, M. and Sigle-Rushton, W. and Lappegard, T. and Jasilioniene, A. and Di Giulio, P. and Keizer, R. and Berghammer, C. and Köppen, K.
Over the past several decades, childbearing within cohabitation has increased throughout Europe. This changing behavior may indicate that cohabitation is becoming an “alternative to marriage;” however, pregnancy and birth may also prompt changes in union status. Using union and fertility histories from 11 countries, we employ life-tables to analyze the intersection between union status and childbearing. With data extending back to the 1970s, we investigate how this relationship has changed over time. We examine whether cohabiting unions with children are more likely to be converted to marriage or dissolve and examine union transitions for women who were single at conception or birth. We find that patterns of union status and childbearing develop along different trajectories depending on the country. Despite widespread claims that marriage is disappearing in Europe, our findings suggest that marriage still remains the predominant institution for raising a family.
Using data from the first round of the national Gender and Generations Surveys of Russia, Romania, and Bulgaria, and from a similar survey of Hungary, which were all collected in recent years, we study rates of entry into marital and non-marital unions. We have used elements from the narrative of the Second Demographic Transition (SDT) as a vehicle to give our analysis of the data from the four countries some coherence, and find what can be traces of the SDT in these countries. The details vary by country; in particular, latter-day developments in union formation patterns did not start at the same time in all the countries, but in our assessment it began everywhere before communism fell, that is, before the societal transition to a market economy got underway in 1990.
The article aims to present the results of a comparative analysis of cohabitation biographies (marital, non-marital and pre-marital cohabitation) between Germans without a migration background and Turkish nationals in Germany. To this end, the data of the Generations and Gender Surveys (GGS) from 2005 and 2006 (for Turkish citizens) are used. The results show a fundamentally different lifestyle of Turks in comparison to Germans, in particular within the younger age groups: Turks more seldom have more than one cohabitation, and have shorter pre-marital phases. Non-marital cohabitation is for Turks more seldom an alternative to marriage. All in all, a major change takes place among Germans from older to younger cohorts as to their experience of nonmarital cohabitation, the latter having become the norm among the latter in the course of a biography. This change is virtually unknown among Turks. The age and cohort, the level of education, religiosity and acceptance of non-marital cohabitation impact the experience of non-marital co-habitation.