Ethnic Differences in Women's Family-Life Trajectories: Timing and Sequencing of Events

Tom Kleinepier, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Helga A. G. de Valk, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Whereas many studies have focused on a specific event in the transition to adulthood among the majority population, we study multiple family events simultaneously among an ethnic diverse young adult population in the Netherlands. Furthermore, we add to the literature by assessing the importance of mixed parentage for family-life trajectories. We focus on second-generation women of the four largest ethnic minority groups in the Netherlands (Turks, Moroccans, Surinamese, Antilleans) and a native Dutch comparison group. Drawing on unique data from the Dutch population registers, we apply sequence analysis and follow an entire birth cohort (N=11,670) from age 16-30. Results indicate that, although many Turkish and Moroccan women start family formation at young ages, the pathways leading to this outcome are diverse. The trajectories of Surinamese and Antillean women are dominated by unmarried cohabitation and a relatively high incidence of single motherhood. Mixed-parentage children are more similar to the majority population.

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Presented in Session 33: Family Transitions across the Life Course