France, social portraitEdition 2017
France, Social Portrait is for everyone who would like to learn more about French society. This cross-cutting publication in the “Insee Références” collection throws the spotlight on people, neither rich nor poor, but located in the middle of the scale of standards of living in France, and often little studied. Around forty themed information sheets summarise the main data and provide European comparisons, to complete this social panorama.
Marriages and divorces: what are the particularities of unmarried couples living together?
In 2015 in France, people living together as unmarried couples made up one in five people living as a couple. They are on average much younger and less qualified than married people. Women living in an unmarried couple bear children more often than those who are married or in a civil partnership. However, being younger, unmarried couples living together are more often parents of minors than married couples.
Among people in couples, those who live together unmarried have on average a lower standard of living: 22,500 euros in 2015 in mainland France against 26,400 euros for married people and 28,300 euros for people in civil partnerships. Individual incomes of people living together as an unmarried couple are on average lower but more equitably shared within the couple.
Unmarried couples break up more often than married couples or those in civil partnerships. The number of break-ups of unmarried couples living together, estimated at 265,000 per year between 2011 and 2015, exceeds the number of divorces and terminations of civil partnerships. Each year, around 210,000 minors are affected by break-ups of unmarried couples living together. After a break-up, the standard of living for women decreases less for those who were living together as an unmarried couple (-14%) than for those who were married or in civil partnerships (-25%) and returns more quickly to the level it was at before the break-up. The less significant drop in the standard of living for unmarried women who were living with their partner is explained mainly by a less equitable distribution of individual income within the couple before the break-up.