Neither Marriage, Nor Cohabitation. The Development of the Civil Solidarity Pact (PACS) in France

Wilfried Rault, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

By creating the PACS in 1999, France has implemented the legalisation of same-sex couples. But compared to most European legislation on same-sex partnerships, the French PACS displays a noticeable difference as it also applies to different-sex couples. Ten years after its adoption, it comes across as a form of union well suited to the needs of different sex couples, since 140,000 PACS were registered in 2008, of which 94% were heterosexual (vs. 270,000 marriages). How should we interpret the choice of this new type of union? This paper presents a three-dimensional analysis. Firstly, it highlights the characteristics of the PACS with regard to marriage and informal cohabitation. Then, it focuses on PACS partners and their main characteristics in order to understand the factors behind its development. Finally, the cross-exploration of in-depth interviews and topical surveys sheds light on what might come across as a French specificity.

  See paper

Presented in Session 165: New Data on Same- and Different-Sex Unions: Issues and Estimates