Couples and families2015 Edition
This first edition of Couples and families in the "Insee References" collection provides a description of the different types of couples and families in France today. It highlights the permanence of lifestyles and their changes, with an increase in separt
Couples and families: between permanence and break-up
Living as a married couple remains the most widespread conjugal situation in France, and "traditional" families with married parents still represent more than one in two families with children who are minors. However, unions are becoming more fragile and living as a couple is less frequent than it was in the past. In addition, forms of conjugality are becoming more diverse: free unions are developing, and the PACS created in 1999 provides a new form of contract for unions. Composite families were a little more frequent in 2011 than in 1999. The number of single-parent families has increased much more, with the result that a greater number of children live in this type of family. Single parenthood, which is still essentially maternal, has spread, especially among less well-educated mothers. Particularly because of their lower level of education, parents in single-parent families have difficulties joining the job market. Consequently, the living conditions of these families are less favourable, with lower living standards and smaller and lower-quality homes. Men's trajectories and their family situations continue to be very different from those of women, with fewer single-parent families and with men forming a new couple more quickly after a break-up.