The Rise of Cohabitation and Childbearing outside of Marriage in Bulgaria: Who Are the Forerunners of the New Family Model?

Dora Kostova, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

The economic and political transition in Bulgaria went hand in hand with considerable changes in the processes of family formation and childbearing. Traditionally, low age at marriage, nearly universal first marriage, and the two-child model prevalence were some of the main demographic features describing the family pattern in Bulgaria during the second half of the 20th century. After the transition in 1989 substantially different patterns are observed. By means of event history analysis using Bulgarian GGS data we investigate whether cohabitation is “institutionalized” among the couples to the level of marital family or is rather recognized as the final stage in a process leading to marriage. The main stress is laid on the impact of the family background and socio-economic factors on first union formation as well as on the transformation of cohabitation into marriage.

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Presented in Session 71: Cohabitation