Union dissolution and internal mobility: a comparison among natives and migrants

Helga A. G. de Valk, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Didier Willaert, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Maaike Jappens, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

In this paper we first study patterns of separation and divorce among natives and migrants of different origin in Belgium. Second we link the divorce to internal mobility and test whether previous documented residential mobility patterns of divorced also apply for migrant populations. This study is novel in at least three respects. First of all only few studies have addressed levels and characteristics of divorce among migrant groups compared to the majority group population. We even go beyond a simply dichotomy and address the diversity in divorce among different origin groups living in Belgium. Second, our analyses not only cover divorce among married couples but we will just as well address separation among unmarried cohabiting couples. Third, we test what mobility patterns are predominant after divorce/separation among migrants and the majority group. Our multivariate analyses include factors of importance at the individual, couple and neighbourhood level and cover both levels and direction of moves. The analyses are based on the 2001 Belgian census, linked with population register data for 2006. All individuals who were part of a couple in 2001 are studied and we assess the levels of breakup of married and unmarried unions four years and three months later (in 2006). The data have rich information on individual and couple characteristics that will be taken into account in the multivariate analyses. For migrant origin we distinguish between six different (regions of) origins including both European and non-European migrants. We analyse the level of mobility linked to the divorce and study the direction of the residential moves of the partners as well as its determinants in more detail.

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Presented in Session 95: Migrants, migration, and family life