Two in three in a live-in relationship
samboer, Cohabitants, cohabitation, share of cohabitants, share of married persons, share of single persons, live-in relationshipChildren, families and households, Population




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Two in three in a live-in relationship

Sixty-seven per cent of persons aged 16-79 years were in a live-in relationship. One in four persons were cohabitants and the rest were married. Among everyone, in a relationship or not, the proportion of cohabitants was 18 per cent and married persons 49 per cent.

Proportion of cohabitants. 1993-2011. Per cent

The proportion of cohabitants compared to married persons has risen steadily since 1980. In the period 1993-95, 20 per cent of those in a live-in relationship were cohabitants. The proportion increased to 25 per cent in 2004 and 26 in 2011. The term “in a live-in relationship” refers to a person who was cohabiting or married at the time of the interview. In total, 33 per cent of the respondents said they do not have a live-in relationship.

Most women among the youngest cohabitants

Among all the women, in a live-in relationship or not, there are most cohabitants in the 20-34 age group, by more than a third. From 35 years of age, the proportion sinks to only four per cent in the age group 60-79.

According to interview data, the total number of cohabitants is estimated at about 300 000 couples. This is a higher estimate than figures based on registers, where it is 530 000 cohabitants. Stricter requirements with regard to legal residence address mean that cohabitants must have the same residence address in order to be classified as cohabitants in the register-based statistics, as opposed to interview surveys.

The statistics are based on the Travel survey conducted in 2011 with 8 000 respondents, and 4 700 persons answered. Whether a person is defined as a cohabitant or not depends on what answer the person himself gives to this question. Experience shows that statistics based on registers and legal residence address result in fewer cohabiting couples than statistics from surveys based on interviews and place of usual residence.