Transitions of non-marital unions within three years in comparison between Turkish nationals in Germany and Germans without migration background

Robert Naderi, Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany
Jürgen Dorbritz, Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany

In the past ten years the existence of non-marital relationships increased over 30 percentage points and is one of the most important alternative living arrangements in Germany. Although the vast majority is married many couples start their relationship unmarried and remain for a longer period in that status than in former times. This leads to important and interesting questions: What makes a non-marital union durable and what circumstances lead to transition to marriage (or dissolution)? Is the non-marital union more or less a pre-stage or an option and for whom? The hypotheses in this paper are following the idea that attitudes are mainly explanatory for the durability of non-marital unions in the way that certain respondents dismiss marriage. Those attitudes are at the same time influenced by cultural factors whereby Turkish citizens have more often positive attitudes towards marriage and lower acceptance of non-marital living arrangements compared to Germans without migrations background. Additionally certain circumstances have an impact on the decision to stay unmarried as a couple or not. Those factors are for instance the birth of a child what will lead most likely to marriage or changes in job status and income level. This paper aims to analyze the factors for transition of non-marital unions in a longitudinal and comparative way. Using the two waves of German Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) for both groups of respondents (Turkish citizens and Germans without migration background) unmarried respondents from the first wave and the development in the second wave will be analyzed as dependent variable. The main independent variables are the migration background, attitudes, values, birth of children and socio-economic variables.

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Presented in Session 105: Changing unions and childbearing