Conference Paper Young People: Research Practice and Policy Conference
Leaving Home in the European Union
23 Jul 2002
This paper examines the factors which influence young people's decision to stay in the parental home or to leave home. It is found to be important to distinguish between destinations on leaving home, since different characteristics are associated with exits to different destinations. The distinction is first made between those leaving home as singles, with a partner, and for educational purposes; and then between those who leave to become owner occupiers, private tenants and public tenants. Large differences are evident between countries. One finding of the paper is that in Nordic countries young people from better-off backgrounds are more likely to leave home as part of a couple, and are more likely to become homeowners, while in Southern countries young people from better-off backgrounds are less likely to leave home in a couple or to become homeowners. This suggests that parents' and children's preferences for independence versus family closeness differ between countries, and contribute (together with differences in young people's socio-economic situations) to the widely differing patterns of living arrangements observed across Europe.