This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Delay in Marriage a Key to Fertility Decline in Arab Societies

Thanks to Zia Salim for pointing me to an article in today's Los Angeles Times commenting on the role of marriage postponement as a factor in fertility levels in Arab societies.
Rising expectations of newlyweds living in their own homes and broader use of family planning in certain parts of the Arab world have drastically changed population dynamics in the region, with women marrying later and having few children, the statistics firm Gapminder reported Friday.
In a series of graphics compiled and posted on the company website, the sharp demographic trends in Tunisia and Libyaare offered as examples of the shift away from early marriage and frequent childbirth in Arab nations.
This is entirely consistent with what I and my colleagues found in Cairo in a paper published almost ten years ago:
...variability in the delay in marriage is 20 times more important a predictor of fertility levels than is contraceptive utilization, which, in fact, was not a statistically significant predictor. We mentioned above that the delay in marriage has regularly been cited as an important factor in the Arab fertility transition (see also Rashad 2000), and these findings are consistent with that conclusion.

1 comment:

  1. great post. While keeping larger population issues in perspective, the text closely examines key factors in population processes, from fertility and mortality rates to agricultural production and urbanization. The text addresses both population problems.