Marriage Trends in South Africa: 1995-2006

Grace Kumchulesi, University of Malawi

Marriage rates for African women aged between 15 and 49 years declined from 35 percent in 1995 to 31 percent in 2006. Using datasets from nationally representative surveys from 1995 to 2006, we constructed a synthetic panel where various birth cohorts of women were followed through the years. We employ the Age-Period-Cohort model to establish if this marriage decline is not driven by erratic fluctuations in sampling designs of independent surveys. The estimates of age effect show that the odds of marriage for women increase with age, just like that of their predecessors. Cohort effects are also positive, indicating that the older the birth cohort is, the higher is the likelihood of marriage. Period effects are smaller in magnitude. In addition, the year on year differential shows no peculiar behaviour in any of the survey years. This suggests that there were no outlier surveys in sampling of African women.

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Presented in Poster Session 3