Where did the first divorced people live in Paris and its suburbs ? Article - Octobre 2019

Sandra Brée

Sandra Brée, « Where did the first divorced people live in Paris and its suburbs ?  », History of the Family, octobre 2019. ISSN 1081-602X


Following the law of 1884 that re-authorised divorce in France, divorce was more frequent in the large cities before spreading to other urban areas and then to rural ones. Divorce rates were especially high in the Seine département from 1884 to the eve of the First World War. In this region, divorced people lived more frequently in Paris than in the suburbs. More precisely, they resided more often on the Right Bank of the Seine in Paris proper (intra-muros) and, as an extension of this area, in the suburban cities to the west and, to the east, around the Bois de Vincennes. A comparison of the share of divorced men and women to the economic, demographic and cultural characteristics of the 20 Paris arrondissements and 74 suburban municipalities in the Seine département shows that a portion of the spatial distribution can be explained by the occupational structures of the area. Divorced people seldom lived in the most rural areas. This urban/rural divide can be explained by two main factors that can be complementary : the economic possibility to divorce – and here we will add the economic possibility for women to leave live alone after a divorce – and the social and cultural acceptance of divorce

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