The Educational Gradient of Living Alone: A Comparison Among the Working-Age Population in Europe
Glenn Sandström, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR), Umeå University Lena Karlsson, Umeå University
In recent decades, the proportion of individuals living alone has increased in Western countries. Previous research has mainly focused on the increase among the elderly and younger segments of the population, while trends in single living in the working-age population has revived much less attention. This study investigates how living alone co-varies with education in the working-age population across Europe. Our results reveal a converging pattern between men and women in a Northern/Western European cluster of countries, where the gender differences in living alone are highest among the least educated. In an Eastern European cluster, we find a U-shaped pattern, where the gender differences in living alone are lowest for the medium educational level. In the south (Italy), we found a significant positive educational gradient of living alone for both genders. These findings reveal substantial differences in the association between education and living alone across contemporary Europe.