Regional Disparities in Leaving Home

Andries de Jong, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
Corina Huisman, CBS Statistics Netherlands

This paper analyses regional differences in the process of leaving the parental home in the Netherlands. Both the timing as the household formation are linked to two aspects of the housing market: the availability of housing opportunities and the affordability of housing options. Regional differences in the housing market may act upon the motives for leaving home and thus may enhance regional variations in the timing and first housing choice of home leavers. It may also influence the tenure choice of new couples. Not only the housing market but also job and educational opportunities show strong regional disparities.

Based on register data of Statistics Netherlands for the period 2012-2016 the process of leaving home has been analyzed. The micro-data file contains data on all children of the Netherlands with respect to demographic characteristics and the housing situation (before and after having left). The analyses focus on spatial differentials in the process of leaving home, in relation to regional differences in the housing market. For this purpose regression models will be applied for the analyses of both the timing of home leaving (distinguished into nest leavers going to live alone and to those going to live with a partner) and the first housing destination of nest-leavers.


This paper analyses regional differences in the process of leaving the parental home in the Netherlands. Both the timing (the age at which children leave the parental home) as the household formation (whether they leave to live alone, to live with roommates, or to become a couple) are linked to two aspects of the housing market: the availability of housing opportunities and the affordability of housing options. Regional differences in the housing market may act upon the motives for leaving home (e.g. formation of a union, enrolment in higher education, taking up a job elsewhere, and a desire for autonomy), and thus may enhance regional variations in the timing and first housing choice of home leavers. A tighter housing market in the highly urbanized parts of the Netherland may make it less easy to live with a partner. It may also influence the tenure choice of new couples. Renting may be an easier or more affordable option for couples in the urbanized regions, while home-ownership may be more preferred by couples in the other regions. Also for those who intend to leave and live without a partner, the state of the housing market may influence the process of leaving home. Regional housing markets characterized by a decrease of opportunities and/or affordability may lead to postponing leaving home or to a higher likelihood for sharing accommodation with roommates. Not only the housing market but also job and educational opportunities show strong regional disparities. Young persons in the peripheral regions have to move more often in order to enroll in higher education or to accept a job offer.

Based on register data of Statistics Netherlands for the period 2012-2016 the process of leaving home has been analyzed. The micro-data file contains data on all children of the Netherlands with respect to demographic characteristics and the housing situation (before and after having left). The analyses focus on spatial differentials in the process of leaving home, in relation to regional differences in the housing market. For this purpose regression models will be applied for the analyses of both the timing of home leaving (distinguished into nest leavers going to live alone and to those going to live with a partner) and the first housing destination of nest-leavers. Characteristics that are taken into account include demographic determinants (a.o. sex, age, household position), economic determinants (a.o. income, economic position), spatial determinants (municipality, level of urbanization) and determinants that describe real estate (a.o. tax assessed value, tenure, housing type).

The results of the analysis will be used in the update of the PBL/CBS Regional Population and Household Forecasts of 2019.

Presented in Session 1234: Posters