Volume 43 - Article 30 | Pages 889–928  

Living arrangements of adult children of immigrants in selected European countries

By Giuseppe Gabrielli, Roberto Impicciatore


Background: The living arrangements of adult children of immigrants are shaped across Europe by both the dominant norms of mainstream society and the intergenerational transmission of values and practices.

Objective: The paper describes the heterogeneous scenario across Europe in three specific living arrangements (living with parents, in a partnership, and, among those living with a partner, being in nonmarital cohabitation) by developing a multiple-origin/multiple-destination analysis based on migratory generation and by questioning adaptation and socialization hypotheses.

Methods: The 2014 ad hoc module of the EU Labour Force Survey provides significant insights on young adults aged 20 to 34 in eight EU countries. The propensity to experience the three specific behaviors is estimated through logit models aiming at comparing southern and northwestern Europe.

Results: Adult children of immigrants mostly tend to resemble the majority groups in the different destination contexts. Nevertheless, contextual factors cannot explain the whole intra-European heterogeneity. Results are not fully consistent with the expected gradual adaptation across migratory generations, and some differences based on the area of origin persist in all destination areas, especially for the decision to experience a nonmarital cohabitation. Young adults originating from South and East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa show stronger influence of their cultural inheritance than the other groups.

Contribution: By developing comparative research on living arrangements among immigrants and their descendants, we contribute to the theoretical debate giving evidence of prevalence of the adaptation hypothesis in the exit from parental home and family formation and the dominance of a socialization effect in the type of union.

Author's Affiliation

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Motherhood of foreign women in Lombardy: Testing the effects of migration by citizenship
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MAPLES: A general method for the estimation of age profiles from standard demographic surveys (with an application to fertility)
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Levels of recent union formation : Six European countries compared
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