More than one fifth of people living apart engaged in LAT relationship

Part of the people living alone are not single: over twenty percent of adult people and parents living alone are engaged in LAT. LAT relationships are more common among younger than among older people. In most cases, they see LAT as a stage on the way to possible cohabitation or marriage. Older people living alone, mainly women, appear to be less keen to marry or live together with their LAT partner.

Living apart, but not single

The number of persons, including parents registered as living alone is still growing: more than 3.3 million on 1 January 2014, but part of them have a partner living elsewhere. The municipal population registers have no information on the number of cases, but a survey held among 18 to 80-year-olds shows that 22 percent of persons living alone, including parents, are engaged in LAT relationships.

Most LAT partners are young

There are obvious differences between the various age categories. More than one-third of the youngest people living alone have an LAT partner versus one-quarter of people in their thirties and forties. Less than 10 percent of over-65s living alone are engaged in LAT relationships. In each age category, the share of people living alone engaged in LAT is the same as in 2003.

The LAT concept is more popular among higher educated and divorced people. Within the category of people living alone, parents more often have a partner living elsewhere than people who live alone.

Older people do not seem so keen to live under the same roof with their LAT partner

Most LATs do not want to continue doing so. Two-thirds eventually want to marry or live together without getting married. The share is smaller among older people. Nearly all young people want to cohabit or get married eventually. Among 50 to 79-year-olds, four in ten want to live together in the future.

For more than two-thirds of LATs, the main reason for living apart is that they want to retain their freedom. For more than 15 percent, bad experiences in former relationships are the main reason. For another 15 percent, their own children or the children of their partner is the reason.

Women over 40 prefer LAT concept

Four in ten women prefer a LAT relationship to cohabitation, i.e. twice as often as men. The difference between men and women is predominantly found among over-40s: nearly two-thirds of women and one-third of men prefer a LAT relationship. One in ten men and women under the age of forty prefer to live at separate addresses.