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Women’s Choice of Surname Upon Marriage in Norway


Division for Social and Demographic Research, Statistics Norway, PO Box 8131 Dept, NO-0033 Oslo, Norway (


This study examines women’s choice of surname upon marriage, using a nationally representative Norwegian sample (N= 1,276). Regression analyses revealed that age at marriage, own and mother’s education, urban residence, importance of paid labor, liberal family values, and egalitarian work-family roles positively influence marital name keeping. Women’s increasing education and economic independence and changes in marriage and the social institution of the family suggest a rising likelihood of name keeping over time (1980 – 2002). According to our descriptive results, more women are keeping their surnames upon marriage. Controlling for the factors influencing marital name keeping, however, women marrying between 1990 and 2002 were less likely to be name keepers than women marrying in the 1980s.