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Type Journal Article - The International Union for the Scientific Study of Populations
Title Marital patterns and fertility in South Africa: The evidence from the 1996 population census
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2001
Page numbers 18-24
Variation in fertility levels among different groups or sub-groups within a population may sometimes be explained in terms of differentials in marital pattern. There is paucity of information regarding the relationship between marital patterns and fertility in South Africa. This study examines marital patterns and fertility in South Africa based on the 1996 population census. The results of the analysis appear to suggest that women in South Africa have the highest mean age at first marriage in the world. The high values of mean age at first marriage may have been biased upward due to cultural factors. Marital patterns appear to contribute to the relatively low fertility (by African standards) in South Africa. The apparent reduction in total fertility rate attributable to marital patterns was much higher among Africans and coloureds than among Indians and whites in South Africa.

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