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Highly Educated and Living Alone

Study compares the living situation of the working-age population in 12 European countries
Source: IvanBastien

Previous research about living arrangements has tended to focus on the older population or those in young adulthood, but not much research exists about the working-age population (ages 30-64). A study by Glenn Sandström and Lena Karlsson used data from the Generations and Gender Survey to see if there is a connection between one’s educational level and whether one lives alone. Looking at 12 European countries and taking their ranking in the Gender Gap Index into consideration, they found that in countries considered more gender equal (e.g. Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium), those with a higher education are less likely to live alone. But amongst those in less gender equal countries (e.g. Italy and Poland), the opposite is true with higher educated people more likely to live alone. Adding the component of gender, women in less gender equal countries are more likely to live alone than men. More people living alone in mid-life can have political implications since previous research has found that many of these individuals will also enter old age as single living individuals, which is also a group more susceptible to adverse health outcomes and poverty.

Author(s) of the original publication: 
Emily Lines