The Heterogeneity of Partnership Trajectories to Childlessness in Germany


In recent decades, childlessness has increased across many European countries. In addition to socioeconomic characteristics, having a partner is considered a prerequisite in most fertility studies. Yet, still little is known about the partnership biographies of childless women and men. We assess the heterogeneity in the partnership trajectories of childless persons in Germany and explore compositional differences of partnership trajectories by gender and education.We use data from the German Family Panel to reconstruct partnership biographies reflecting the occurrence and frequency of different partnership states (singleness, living apart together, cohabitation, marriage).

European Journal of Population, online first