Residential Location Choices of Couples Considering both Partners’ Residential Biographies and Family Ties




Residential location, Residential biography, Life-course, Family formation, Family ties, Split half


We investigate couples’ residential decisions by considering variables capturing elements of both partners’ residential biographies and family ties. We focus on the family formation stage because decisions made in this stage are rather long-term. We are particularly interested in the hometown as individuals have spent a great amount of time and an important life phase there. Our research questions are: (1) To what extent do people live in their hometown at family formation? (2) Which factors influence this choice? We consider previous residential experiences, social ties, socio-demographic and spatial variables in binary logit regressions. The data was collected from a sample of students at TU Dortmund University, their parents, and grandparents. In this paper, the parent couples’ residential location choices are analysed considering family ties to the grandparents. We apply a rigorous split half method for internal model validation. Recent research on residential decisions mostly considers either the partners or the life-course or social ties. Due to our unique dataset, we include all these factors. This allows us to draw conclusions on gendered residential choice. We find the length of residence to be positively and number of moves negatively associated with living at the hometown, two factors that have not been disentangled in previous research. We could not confirm the often proven male dominance. On the contrary, we found that the female’s family ties were more relevant. The hometown has not received the attention it deserves to date and has the potential to enrich demographic research and related fields. The rigorous split half method for internal validation has rarely been undertaken previously. The results point to the importance of model validation and thus present an innovative approach.

Author Biography

Janna Albrecht, ILS - Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development gGmbH

Department of Mobilities and Space




How to Cite

Albrecht, J. et al. 2019. Residential Location Choices of Couples Considering both Partners’ Residential Biographies and Family Ties. Comparative Population Studies. 44, (Sep. 2019). DOI:



Research Articles