Current Characteristics of Living Arrangements Following Bereavement in Europe

Jeroen J.A. Spijker, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The study of living arrangements after bereavement is not as extensively covered as post-divorce household trajectories in family sociology, although as more flexible living arrangements such as living apart together are becoming more common, it has provided the subject with new impetus. While the overwhelming majority of newly widowed women prefer to stay in their own home because they want to maintain their (newly found) independence, men tend to perceive that remarriage brings with it more benefits than remaining widowed. However, also essential in both the description and interpretation of new living arrangements following bereavement are gender differences in marriage opportunity, parenthood, educational level and labour force participation. Using the IPUMS-International database that currently contains harmonized variables from census microdata from 35 countries and 111 censuses, the aim of this paper is to describe the living arrangements of widows and widowers in eight European countries.

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Presented in Poster Session 1