More frequent separation and repartnering among people aged 50 and over

Population and Societies

586, February 2021

Divorces and union dissolutions have become much more frequent in the last half-century, as has repartnering. What about people aged 50 and over? Using several data sources, Anne Solaz explains that these people have also been affected by this phenomenon, and examines differences in partnership trajectories between cohorts and between men and women in France.

In France, among individuals born in the 1930s, only 4% of men and only 5% of women lived in a union several times by age 50. Most have experienced only one cohabiting union, usually marriage, in their lifetime. Among those born 30 years later, in the 1960s, a quarter of both men and women have experienced more than two unions. Men are more likely to repartner than women at any age. These gender gaps widen with age. Men are a quarter more likely than women to form a new relationship at age 50, and 3 times more likely at age 73. Divorces among seniors are increasing.

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