Similar Incidence, Different Nature? Characteristics of LAT Relationships in France and Italy

Arnaud Régnier-Loilier, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Daniele Vignoli, Università di Firenze

This paper contributes to the ongoing debate about the prevalence and determinants of LAT relationships in two contrasting family settings such as France and Italy. First, we corroborate the view that being “single” in residential terms does not mean being “without a partner” in relationship terms: This is an incorrect assumption in more than 25% of cases in both countries. Second, we show that the nature of LAT relationships differ between the two societies. In Italy, LAT relationships are popular among young couples, often confronted with a difficult economic situation on the one side, and an overall social pressure towards marriage on the other. In France, LAT relationships are more the result of a conscious choice, especially in the older phases of the life course. We conclude by interpreting our findings in light of the dominant narratives aiming to explain the diffusion of new family patterns.

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Presented in Session 229: Nonmarital and Diverse Families