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Singulate Mean Age at Marriage in South Africa (1996-2016) Trends, Differentials and Implications

Leonard Ahuejere, Statistics South Africa

Singulate mean age at marriage (SMAM) is associated to the declining fertility rates experienced in South Africa, as such a concern. The study used the census survey data collected between 1996 and 2016 in South Africa to examine the trends and differentials in the SMAM age of the country. Adopting a quantitative approach, the Hajnal (1953) indirect technique was used as a measure of timing; controlling for selected demographics. Findings suggest that SMAM age is high, maintaining an increasing pattern in South Africa. The average SMAM age for South Africa was 31.2 years, with that of male (31,6 years) slightly higher than that of female (28.9 years). SMAM Differentials was more pronounced controlling for educational levels in the country. These patterns suggest that South Africans marry late, compared to traditional African society. Findings in the study should be considered in all policy development around family formation incidences in South Africa.

See paper.

  Presented in Session P1. Poster Session 1