Young women postpone living together

29/12/2003 10:00

Young people wait longer before they start living together married or otherwise.

This postponing can be observed among generations born in the sixties and early seventies.

Women who have lived with a partner, by period of birth

Women who have lived with a partner, by period of birth

Three quarters of the women born in the fifties already had some experience of living together at the age of 23. Half of the women born in the seventies have that experience.

Going steady

Young people are taking more time to look for a partner. When they find ‘Ms or Mr Right’, they move in together slightly faster than they did a few decades ago.

Women who lived together before the age of 24 and who were born in the seventies, had been going steady for an average of two years and eight months before they started to share a house with their partner. This is six months less than women born in the forties.

Time between meeting and living together, by woman’s birth period

Time between meeting and living together, by woman’s birth period

Women who started living together between the ages of 24 and 29 went steady for an average period of three years before cohabiting.

Holidays and entertainment

Over 40 percent of the women who met their partner before the age of 30 met while on holiday or when they were out. Some 16 percent of these women met their partner through friends, and 13 percent through school or college.

Meeting place 2000-2002, by woman’s age

Meeting place 2000-2002, by woman’s age

Many women over thirty also met their partners while on holiday or out. Moreover many couples met at work: one in five women who met their partners after the age of 30 met them at work. About 7 percent made their first contact with their partner through the Internet.

Arie de Graaf