Two-home residents: long-lasting or transitory family situation? The case of France

Laurent Toulemon, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Sophie Pennec, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

With the increasing diversity of family situations, more people, children as well as adults, now ‘usually’ live in more than one dwelling. The significance of the “two-home” family situations heavily depends on whether they are long-lasting or transitory. The aim of this paper is to describe the transitions into and out of the different “two-home” situations, in order to better describe the dynamics of these situations and to understand their place in the family biographies of adults and children. In a preliminary presentation at the 2009 IUSSP conference (, we used the three first waves of the French EU-SILC survey (2004, 2005 and 2006). We found that having two homes is a relatively frequent and temporary situation. Some 3 to 4% inhabitants have two homes, with a first mode of 11% at age 20, and a secondary mode widespread between ages 55 and 90; between one third and one half of two-home people at one point in time have become one-home residents one year later. We estimated the proportion of ever multi-resident and the mean duration of an episode of multiresidence: a mover-stayer model was used to estimate the entries into multiresidence by age, and a model with exponential exits from multiresidence, with a group of “short-term commuters” whose the episodes were shorter than one year. The aim of the current proposal is twofold: first, to use the six available waves (2004 to 2009) in order to estimate more accurately the parameters of our models of population heterogeneity: heterogeneity was found to be large but very difficult to estimate with three waves only. Second, to describe the very diverse family situations and transitions related to temporary or long-lasting episodes of multiresidence.

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Presented in Session 19: Step families