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Pathways to stepfamily formation in Europe


  • Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz

    (Max-Planck-Institut für Demografische Forschung)

  • Andres Vikat

    (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE))

  • Dimiter Philipov

    (Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU))

  • Henriette Engelhardt-Wölfler

    (Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg)


Increasing proportions of couples are making childbearing decisions in stepfamilies but there has been no general comparative picture across European countries on stepfamily formation. The present paper aims to fill this gap and provides a comparison of European countries using macro-level indicators that describe union formation and dissolution and childbearing. We use the individual-level data files (standard recode files) of Fertility and Family Surveys from 19 European countries. Our results highlight the different pathways to a stepfamily in Europe, and show that in most European countries a considerable proportion of women form a stepfamily in childbearing ages, which needs to be considered in studies of fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz & Andres Vikat & Dimiter Philipov & Henriette Engelhardt-Wölfler, 2003. "Pathways to stepfamily formation in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 8(5), pages 107-150, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:8:y:2003:i:5

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz & Tomáš Sobotka & Isabella Buber-Ennser & Henriette Engelhardt-Wölfler & Richard Gisser, 2008. "Austria: Persistent low fertility since the mid-1980s," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(12), pages 293-360, July.
    2. Tomáš Sobotka & Laurent Toulemon, 2008. "Overview Chapter 4: Changing family and partnership behaviour," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(6), pages 85-138, July.
    3. Steinbach, Anja & Kuhnt, Anne-Kristin & Knüll, Markus, 2015. "Kern-, Eineltern- und Stieffamilien in Europa: Eine Analyse ihrer Häufigkeit und Einbindung in haushaltsübergreifende Strukturen," Duisburger Beiträge zur soziologischen Forschung 2015-02, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute of Sociology.
    4. Andres Vikat & Zsolt Spéder & Gijs Beets & Francesco Billari & Christoph Bühler & Aline Désesquelles & Tineke Fokkema & Jan M. Hoem & Alphonse MacDonald & Gerda Neyer & Ariane Pailhé & Antonella Pinne, 2007. "Generations and Gender Survey (GGS)," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(14), pages 389-440, November.
    5. FFF1Gerda NNN1Neyer & FFF2Gunnar NNN2Andersson, 2004. "Contemporary Research on European Fertility: Introduction," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 3(1), pages 1-14, April.
    6. Zsolt Spéder, 2007. "The diversity of Family structure in Europe: A survey on partnership, parenting and childhood across Europe around the millenium," Demográfia English Edition, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, vol. 50(5), pages 105-134.
    7. Leen Rahnu & Allan Puur & Luule Sakkeus & Martin Klesment, 2015. "Partnership dynamics among migrants and their descendants in Estonia," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 32(56), pages 1519-1566, June.

    More about this item


    childbearing histories; Europe; Fertility and Family Survey (FFS); macro-level indicators; preunion children; stepfamily; union histories;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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