Dissolution of committed cohabiting relationships in the Netherlands

Saskia te Riele, Statistics Netherlands
Niels Kooiman, Statistics Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the number of cohabiting couples is still increasing. A growing number of these couples have children living with them as well. Hence, cohabiting is still becoming more and more common. Previous research has shown that the risk of dissolution is higher in cohabiting couples than in married couples, even when children are involved and the relationship can be considered as more committed. This may be due to a selection bias: couples that do not get married are less committed than the ones that eventually do marry. To gain more insight into the higher dissolution risk of cohabiting couples, we focus on differences between more and less committed cohabiting relationships in the Netherlands. A relationship is seen as more committed when there are children present or when the relationship lasted longer, but also when the couple bought a house and therefore has stronger (economic) ties as well. Also, we try to find out whether there are changes in dissolution risk of cohabiting relationships over time. Data from the survey of Family Formation and longitudinal registrative data from 1995 and onwards are used in this study.

Presented in Poster Session 3