Levels of recent union formation: six European countries compared
Demographic Research, 22:9, 199–210 (2010)
Keywords: Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, cohabitation, marital union
We offer a comparison between the age profiles of rates of formation of marital and non-marital unions among women in Russia, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Italy. We show that there is considerable variability across these populations in the levels and age patterns of union entry rates, ranging (i) from high and early rates in Russia to slow and late entries in Italy; and (ii) from the emphasis on marriage seen in Russia, Poland, Italy, and particularly Romania, to the dominant role of cohabitation reported for Bulgaria. Although this paper mainly discusses known features (like the patterns for Italy), these features are displayed with an unusual degree of clarity in the comparative framework, which also highlights unusual patterns, such as those seen in Bulgaria. We do not find much commonality in union-entry rates among ex-communist countries.