The Living Arrangements of Children: Long-Term Changes and Social Variation in the Netherlands

Niels Schenk, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Frans W.A. van Poppel, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

The demographic and social processes of the past 150 years radically changed the number of parents children grew up with. In this paper, we use two unique datasets to illustrate long-term changes in the living arrangements of children born between 1850 and 1985 in the Netherlands. We describe in detail changes in terms of whether fathers, mothers and stepparents lived with these children at birth and at age 15. We also examine whether siblings - and if so how many - lived with the child, and we discuss variations in the living arrangements of children according to social class and level of education. We observe a massive shift in the living arrangements of the 1850-79 cohort compared with the 1880-99 cohort of children and only a slight return to nineteenth-century conditions in the most recent birth cohort.

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Presented in Session 108: Household Structure and Intergenerational Relationships in Historical and Comparative Perspective