Age Differences between Couples in Sweden

Martin Kolk, Stockholm University

This study examines the evolution of age differences between parents and spouses in contemporary Sweden using administrative register data. By means of individual data on 2,583,231 parent dyads at first birth and 1,304,591 spouse dyads from 1932 to 2007 (1968-2007 for marriages) the development of age differences between partners can be examined. The results indicate continuity in patterns for native Swedish couples while recent decades offer evidence of a new divergent pattern for couples in which one or both partners are born abroad. Overall patterns are characterized by great stability over time with only modest decreases over time. Decomposition of partners by quantiles show that the width of age differences between partners decreased from the thirties until the late sixties after differences instead have been increasing modestly towards decreasing homogamy. Spouses show both higher homogamy and lower mean age differences than parents.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 3