Family formation and economic insecurity among youth in South Africa

Type Journal Article - Development Southern Africa
Title Family formation and economic insecurity among youth in South Africa
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Page numbers 1-10
Youth unemployment continues to be a burden and concern for the South African government. Being economically insecure, the situation is dire with the government needing to provide resources to a population who should be economically independent. There is a need to look at the social determinants of economic insecurity among youth in South Africa. Family formations could either promote or inhibit economic well-being. This article aims to assess whether economic security improves as youth enter into unions and/or have children. The South African National Income Dynamics Study is used. Unmarried youth with no children are measured at baseline (2008) and followed up over time to examine whether economic security status changes as union status changes. Results show that while economic security, employment (from 7.61% to 25.67%) and net income per month (from 19.48% to 32.79%) increase over time, youth who marry but have no children have the lowest risk of economic insecurity (relative risk ratio = 0.02, p < 0.05) compared with those who remain unmarried but have children. Special attention needs to be given to youth who have children and are unmarried and among those who marry and have children soon after.

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