The Changing Meaning of Cohabitation: An Analysis of Selected European Countries

Paola Di Giulio, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Elena Koytcheva, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

In Northern and Western European countries cohabitation started to spread since the 1970s, changing from being a deviant phenomenon to a gradually more accepted behavior. Unlike in those countries, the Southern European ones were not touched by a massive diffusion of cohabitation. Central and Eastern European countries were largely set apart from the theoretical reasoning for long time. Most of those countries experienced the sharpest increase of the proportion of cohabiting couples in Europe after the1990, however. Is this due to a change in the social meaning of cohabitation (from deviant to a socially accepted phenomenon) or to other factors? This paper analyzes the new set of GGS data for Hungary, Bulgaria and Italy by means of sequence analysis techniques. We will compare them with previous surveys data from France and Sweden and a we will highlight a possible interpretation for the observed trends in the diffusion of cohabitation.

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Presented in Poster Session 2