The Consequences of Divorce and Splitting up for Spatial Mobility in the UK

Peteke Feijten, Maarten van Ham


Union dissolution is well known to have a disruptive effect on the housing situation of those involved, and often leads to downward moves on the “housing ladder”. Much less is known about the geographies of residential mobility after union dissolution. There are, however, reasons to expect that those who experienced a union dissolution have a different likelihood of moving over longer distances than those who stay in a union, because of different moving motives. This study contributes to the existing literature by investigating the occurrences of moves, distances moved and the destinations of moves after union dissolution. The paper also contributes to the literature by investigating the effect on mobility not only of divorce, but also of splitting up and repartnering. Using longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), and logistic regression models, we found that union dissolution has a significant effect on the occurrence of moves and on moving distances.


Union dissolution; Splitting up; Divorce; Housing career; Spatial mobility; Longitudinal data; BHPS; United Kingdom

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