Michael Wagner and Gabriele Franzmann (2000)
The Pluralisation of Living Arrangements*
In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 25, 1/2000, p. 151-174, Opladen: Verlag Leske + Budrich, ISSN: 0340-2398
To many people the pluralisation or increasing diversity of households is an important aspect of the family change in West Germany since 1960. In the article, we first discuss what "household diversity" means. In particular, we present a number of statistical measures of heterogeneity or qualitative variance that enable us to quantify the degree of diversity. These measures include the variation ratio, entropy and the index of diversity. In the empirical part of the study, the degree of household diversity in West and East Germany is determined. It is important to distinguish household and individual level. As to the households, a considerable pluralisation cannot be discovered in West Germany between 1972 and 1996, although the number of nuclear families has clearly decreased. Other household types have become more dominant so that although the quantitative distribution has changed considerably, the household diversity has not increased. However, a pluralisation of households has occurred in the group of households without children and especially in family households. Seen from the individual and not from the household level, the pluralisation of one-generation-households is of a greater extent. Probably this applies to two-generation-households and household types in general as well, but this assumption could not be further examined. Another result of our studies is that the plurality of family households is greater in East Germany than in West Germany, and that compared to other European countries household diversity is rather small in Germany.
* Original title: Die Pluralisierung der Lebensformen (full text in German only)