The Housing Situation of Young Couples in Norway: Variations By Immigration Background

Lars Dommermuth, Research Dep., Statistics Norway
Jennifer A. Holland, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Kenneth Aarskaug Wiik, Research Dep., Statistics Norway

We investigate differences in the standard of housing for couples first moving in together, comparing those with and without immigrant backgrounds. We situate our study in Norway, a country with a relatively short history of migration, but with growing shares of immigrants and their descendants. The analysis is based on Norwegian longitudinal register data. We identified all couples entering their first coresidential opposite sex unions between 2006 and 2015 in the ten largest municipalities in Norway. We differentiate between majority-background couples, where both partners were born in Norway to Norwegian born parents, couples where both partners have an immigrant background, and mixed couples, where one partner has an immigrant background and the other a majority background. We give special attention to differences by immigrant generation status, distinguishing those couples with one or both partners born in Norway to parents born abroad, the so-called second generation. We consider whether these newly formed couples live independently and develop different measures for housing quality, including housing type, housing size (square meters and number of rooms) and housing tenure (homeowners or renting). In descriptive analyses we describe differences in housing quality by the couple immigrant background categories. We then conduct regression analyses, taking into account other background characteristics as age, union duration, marital status, education and income. Results from this study will shed light on an aspect of inequality often overlooked—the degree to which young couples have access to high quality housing as they start out together, and whether all couples, regardless of immigrant background status, have access to the same quality of housing.

Presented in Session 2: Union Formation and Dissolution among Immigrants