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Families and Living Arrangements

In recent decades, family structures and living arrangements have been undergoing significant changes. While the traditional family structure “married couple with children” has become less prevalent, living arrangements without the institutional character of marriage have come to the fore. In 1996, married couples with children were the most common living arrangement among adults.

When looking at living arrangements among the adult population, 29% of them live together as a married couple without children, the second largest group being singles at 26% and with only 24%, married couples with children living in their household only reach third place. This is the result of a low birth rate, which has been stagnant for decades, of increasing life expectancy and a declining tendency to marry, especially among younger people.

The facts presented in this section are based on the results of the micro census according to the living arrangements concept (population at the family residence without shared accommodation). As only living arrangements within a household are recorded, other living arrangements reaching beyond the household as a unit – such as bilocal relationships (“living apart together”) – cannot be recorded. All living arrangements with unmarried children in the household – regardless of the age of the children – are categorised as familial living arrangements (families), all living arrangements without children in the household are classed as non-family sector. The Figures available on this subject differentiate between underage children and children of full age.

The Microcensus results are extrapolated on the basis of the population extrapolation. The extrapolation as of 2011 is based on the results of the extrapolation derived from the census of 2011.


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© Federal Institute for Population Research - 2017