Union trajectories to childlessness

Main content

In recent decades childlessness increased across many European countries. Next to socioeconomic characteristics, having a partner is considered a prerequisite in most fertility studies. Yet, still little is known about the partnership biographies of childless women and men. Our objective is to assess the heterogeneity in the partnership trajectories of childless persons in Germany. We explore compositional differences of partnership trajectories by gender, education, and family structure during childhood.

For Germany, Emanuela Struffolino and Marcel Raab use data from the German Panel of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics to reconstruct partnership biographies accounting for the occurrence and frequency of different partnership states (singleness, living-apart-together, cohabitation, marriage). The sample comprises women and men born 1971–1973 whose life course are observed from age 18–40. We apply sequence, cluster, and multinomial logistic regression analysis.  For Finnland, Anette Fasang andMarika Jalovaara analyse register data for men and women born in 1969 and 1970 (childless N=3,241) with sequence, cluster, and multinomial logistic regression methods.