A century of transitions to adulthood in Europe: a comparative analysis

Maria Sironi, Università Bocconi

This paper explores how the process of the transition to adulthood has changed during the twentieth century in Europe. Through data collected in the European Social Survey (2006), individuals born between 1926 and 1985 in 23 European countries are analyzed: the median age at which major events of the transition to adulthood take place and the order in which they occur are taken into account. The comparative perspective facilitates additional knowledge on recent trends in life course trajectories and to understand to which extent the transition takes a longer time to occur for recent birth cohorts. Moreover, this study examines how the macro-contexts influence the organization of the life course. This is done using a multilevel model, clustering individuals within countries, to answer the question on how much of the variability in individuals’ decisions is attributable to country level factors and how much to individual level factors.

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Presented in Session 164: The timing of fertility and family transitions in Europe