Trends in singlehood in young adulthood in Europe
SourceAdvances in Life Course Research, (2021), article 100449
12 oktober 2021
Article / Letter to editor
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Advances in Life Course Research
SubjectInequality, cohesion and modernization; Ongelijkheid, cohesie en modernisering
Cultural and economic shifts such as increasing individualization and labor market uncertainty may have resulted in an increase in singlehood after leaving home. Using data from the European Social Survey, we compare cohorts born between 1930 and 1989 in 30 European countries. We show that there has been an increase in singlehood after leaving home, but primarily among women. Whereas the percentage of women who have lived in singlehood after leaving home increased with 11 percentage points from 41% to 52%, men experienced only a 3 percentage points' increase from 59% to 62%. This stronger trend among women could be the result of their increasing educational attainment and earning capacity. Event-history analyses show that the duration of singlehood has not changed over time. We call for more research on singlehood after leaving home as an event of interest during the transition to adulthood. As more than 50% of young adults nowadays live in singlehood after leaving home, singlehood is a key part of the transition to adulthood that deserves explicit attention.
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