Neither Single, Nor in a Couple: A Study of Living Apart Together in France
Arnaud Régnier-Loilier, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Catherine Villeneuve-Gokalp, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Eva Beaujouan, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Over the past twenty years, sociologists and demographers have been observing the trends in Living Apart Together (LAT) relationships. Is this a distinct form of partnership or a transitory phase prior to cohabitation with a partner? The 2005 French GGS tracked the development of the phenomenon, distinguished the characteristics of persons living in LAT relationships, studied their reasons for living separately, the frequency with which they saw their partner and whether or not they intended to cohabit at a later date. LAT does not appear to be a homogeneous form of cohabitation, but takes a variety of forms. After establishing the principal characteristics of LAT in France, we suggest a four-group LAT typology based on a multiple correspondence analysis (MCA). Young people without a conjugal past contrast with older individuals with children in terms of their reasons for not cohabiting, their ways of life and their future projects.