Divorce, separation, and housing changes: a multiprocess analysis of longitudinal data from England and Wales

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

January 10, 2018


This study investigates the effect of marital and nonmarital separation on individuals’ residential and housing trajectories. Using rich data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and applying multilevel competing-risks event history models, we analyze the risk of a move of single, married, cohabiting, and separated men and women to different housing types. We distinguish moves due to separation from moves of separated people and account for unobserved codeterminants of moving and separation risks. Our analysis shows that many individuals move due to separation, as expected, but that the likelihood of moving is also relatively high among separated individuals. We find that separation has a long-term effect on individuals’ residential careers. Separated women exhibit high moving risks regardless of whether they moved out of the joint home upon separation, whereas separated men who did not move out upon separation are less likely to move. Interestingly, separated women are most likely to move to terraced houses, whereas separated men are equally likely to move to flats (apartments) and terraced (row) houses, suggesting that family structure shapes moving patterns of separated individuals.

Published in








Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

© The Author(s) 2018

Online Early



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest