On Marriage Dynamics and Fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Malawi

Benson John, University of Malawi
Vissého D. Adjiwanou, University of Cape Town

The interplay between remarriage and fertility is among the most poorly documented subjects in sub-Saharan Africa, yet remarriage is one of the fundamental aspects of marriage dynamics in the region. Using principles of cohort-period demographic measurement and statistical methodologies, this research uses Malawi as a case study to assess the pattern and level of union dissolution and remarriage, and to document how the association between remarriage and fertility changes over time. Results reveals that the probability of experiencing first union dissolution within 15 years dropped from 45.9% to 40.0% between 1992 and 2015, while the likelihood of remarriage decreased from 36.1% to 27.7% during this period. On childbearing, remarried women end up with fewer children than their counterparts in intact unions, but the fertility gap is diminishing overtime. In 2015, women in intact unions had 0.33 more children on average than their remarried counterparts, a decreased from 1.48 in 2000.

See paper.

  Presented in Session 29. SRH and Family Planning