IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Are Heterosexual Couples in Civil Partnerships Different from Married Couples?


  • Estelle Bailly


  • Wilfried Rault



In 1999, the French Government introduced civil partnerships, known as PACS (pacte civil de solidarité), toprovide legal recognition to same-sex couples, although they were also open to different-sex couples. Since then, they have proved increasingly popular. By 2010, the initialfigure of around 20,000 new PACS unions per year had risen to more than 205,000, most of these contracted by different-sex couples. So is there any difference between those who have optedfor marriage since 1999 and those who have chosen to become PACS partners? While not diametrically opposed,the two groups do have several distinguishing features. PACS partners are more often childless and more of them are highly educated. More of them are in higher-level orintermediate occupations, and they are more often public sector employees.Nevertheless, the gap between the two has tended to narrowin recent years, especially since 2008. Today's PACS partners differ less from their married peers than thePACS "pioneers" did. PACS unions have become democratized, in the sense that their numbers have increaseddramatically and they have spread to social groups that initially showed little interest in them.

Suggested Citation

  • Estelle Bailly & Wilfried Rault, 2013. "Are Heterosexual Couples in Civil Partnerships Different from Married Couples?," Population and Societies 497, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
  • Handle: RePEc:idg:posoce:497

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Arnaud Régnier-Loilier, 2016. "Partnership trajectories of people in stable non-cohabiting relationships in France," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 35(40), pages 1169-1212, October.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:idg:posoce:497. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ined). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.