Ages 20-24

Ages 25-29

Time 1b 1970-1989

Time 2 1990-2000

Change Annual

Time 1b 1970-1989

Time 2 1990-2000

Annual Change

83.4

79.8

−.25

95.0

94.6

−.02

59.2

52.1

−.63

81.6

77.4

−.35

54.1

49.7

−.42

78.3

75.4

−.27

74.6

70.3

−.49

90.1

88.6

−.11

NOTES: For source of regional groupings and population data for weighted averages, see Table 7-1. Further detail can be found in Appendix A.

SOURCES: United Nations Population Division Database on Marriage Patterns (Pop/1/DB/2000/3), 72 countries, 1960-2001. See Appendix Table 7-1a for list of countries.

Eastern and Southern Africa, over four times as many women with 0-3 years of schooling marry before age 18 as do women with 8+ years of schooling, whereas 1.9 times as many women in low-status households marry before 18 as do women in high-status households, and 1.6 times as many women in rural areas marry before age 18 than do women in urban areas. In contrast, in the regions in which data are available for men, the differentials by socioeconomic status are nearly as large, or larger than, the differentials by schooling, suggesting that household economic status is a potentially more important factor than schooling in determining timing of marriage for men than for women.

FACTORS AFFECTING THE RISE IN AGE AT MARRIAGE

In all regions of the developing world except for South America, fewer young women are married than in the recent past, and in a number of regions, fewer young men are married as well. The fact that this pattern is quite widespread is support for our assumption that global changes are affecting the transition to adulthood. In trying to assess the mechanism for this transformation, it is important to note that the reduction in marriage is occurring in a diversity of settings. More importantly, for women, the change is occurring not only in the teenage years but also in the 20s, suggesting that policy shifts, such as increases in the legal age at marriage,



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