Always around… family living arrangements of young adults in Europe

Katrin Schwanitz, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED) and University of Groningen
Clara H. Mulder, University of Groningen

Comparative research suggests that there are great cross-national and cross-temporal differences in family living arrangements in Europe. In this paper, we examine young adults’ family living arrangements (1) across several European countries and different national contexts, and (2) by taking into account cross-time variability. In doing so, we pay careful attention to a comprehensive conceptualization of family living arrangements (incl. extended and non-family living arrangements). The aim of this paper is to deepen our understanding of family structure and household arrangements in Europe by examining and mapping the cross-national and cross-temporal variety of young adults’ family living arrangements. For our analysis we use data from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series International (IPUMSi) for the census rounds 1980, 1990, and 2000 and for eight European countries (Austria, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, and Switzerland). The analysis is restricted to young adults (aged 18 – 34) and we employ log-linear models (separate for men and women) to ascertain the influence of individual and contextual factors on family living arrangements. Initial descriptive analyses lend further support to a North/ West – South/ East divide in family living arrangements and general gender differentials in extended family living. Other interesting results are the heterogeneity in the family living arrangements of single mothers across geographic areas, and the upward trend of extended household living for young men and women between 1980 and 2000.

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Presented in Session 39: Living arrangements