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.
Neyer, Gerda and Lappegard, Trude and Vignoli, Daniele
Does gender equality matter for fertility? Demographic findings on this issue are rather inconclusive. We argue that one reason for this is that the complexity of the concept of gender equality has received insufficient attention. Gender equality needs to be conceptualized in a manner that goes beyond perceiving it as mere ‘‘sameness of distribution’’. It needs to include notions of gender equity and thus to allow for distinguishing between gender difference and gender inequality. We sketch three dimensions of gender equality related to employment, financial resources, and family work, which incorporate this understanding: (1) the ability to maintain a household; (2) agency and the capability to choose; and (3) gender equity in household and care work. We explore their impact on childbearing intentions of women and men using the European Generations and Gender Surveys. Our results confirm the need for a more nuanced notion of gender equality in studies on the relationship between gender equality on fertility. They show that there is no uniform effect of gender equality on childbearing intentions, but that the impact varies by gender and by parity.
Puur, Allan and Sakkeus, Luule and Põldma, Asta and Herm, Anne
Demographic research has drawn attention to the multiple ways in which changes in mortality and childbearing have produced major shifts in intergenerational family structures. The aim of this article is to contribute to this body of research by analysing the data from the Generations and Gender Surveys for nine European countries. In the study, data pertaining to the availability of ascending (parents and grandparents) and descending kin (children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren) of the respondent are combined to shed light on the family structures in which indviduals are embedded at various stages of their lives. The findings provide new insights into the ways in which the past and present diversity of demographic regimes comes together into specific patterns of intergenerational family constellations across Europe. This convergence may yield family constellations of very similar “height” in countries with sharply contrasting demographic histories. The results also indicate that certain demographic scenarios may halt or temporarily reverse the trend towards the further vertical extension of family constellations.
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.
This paper observes the change since the 1970s in the proportion of men and women having only one child during their reproductive life, and examines their sociodemographic characteristics. The aim is to explore the significant variables of the complement of the parity progression ratio from first to second birth (1-A1). First, we present the theories, findings and results relating to the single-child family model in Europe. Then, we perform a multivariate analysis with the dependent variable of the model being the fact of not having had a second child ten years after the birth of a first child in stable unions.