Living apart together (LAT) relationships are when a couple are in a relationship but choose not to live together. They are an interesting topic of study because data on these relationships is hard to come by as they do not appear in residency or marital registries. Surveys like the Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) are therefore vital in studying how prevelant these types of relationships are, what type of people generally have them and whether they are similar to marriage and cohabitation. Indeed, data from the GGS has been used by several international research projects which have examined precisely these questions. The findings suggest that such relationships are in fact a sizeable minority and often allow couples to meet short term work and educational requirements. They are therefore most common amongst the highly educated and those who are still in education. LAT relationships at older ages are most common amongst those who have experienced divorce in a previous relationship and those wanting to maintain independence.
Percentage of Adults living in LAT relationships by Country
Source: The graphic contains data from Wave 1 of the Generations and Gender Survey and the following publication: Liefbroer, Aart C., Anne-Rigt Poortman, and Judith Seltzer. “Why do intimate partners live apart? Evidence on LAT relationships across Europe.” Demographic Research 32.8 (2015): 251-286.