Partnership history and completed family sizes in Great Britain: a preliminary, empirical, exploration of characteristics and associations

Publication type

Research Paper

Series Number



Barnett Papers in Social Research


Publication date

January 15, 2018


Apart from some important analyses on childlessness, comparatively little research has been undertaken on the association between partnership history and related general demographic outcomes, and this exploratory study investigates the relationship between the completed family sizes of both men and women in the light of their full marital and cohabitational histories. The variability in respondents’ family sizes is related to their partnership histories. The data-file, from the British Household Panel Survey, BHPS, contains detailed information on partnership history and children born, but omits socio-economic and other background variables which could act as controls. The analyses are therefore limited, but ones which nevertheless demonstrate the utility of a thorough examination of the basic variables using straightforward statistical techniques, which can inform further work applying more sophisticated analytic techniques to fuller datasets. An equally important by-product benefit of such analyses is that they reveal the strengths and weaknesses of different aspects of the survey data.





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