Pathways through Life: Cohabitation, Parenthood, and Marriage in Denmark 1954-2001

Lisbeth Trille G. Loft, Brown University

Today Denmark (together with Sweden) holds the highest rate of cohabiting households and the largest share of non-marital childbearing. This paper examines how cohabitation has developed across individual life trajectories and pathways alongside other union statuses (single, marriage, divorce, separation and widowhood), as well as the transition out of the parental home, the experience of parenthood, and the timing of educational attainment and engaging in formal employment. The universe is a birth cohort of Danish women and men born in 1954. This specific birth cohort plays a very particular role in Danish history, as they were one of the first birth cohorts to cohabit in large numbers, and they came of age during a time where a well established social-democratic welfare state had become a Danish reality.

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Presented in Session 52: The Context of Cohabiting Unions