Marital Patterns and Socioeconomic Status in Late Twentieth-Century South Africa

Sandile E. Simelane, University of Pennsylvania
Henry V. Doctor, Navrongo Health Research Centre

We use South Africa October Household Surveys (1995-1999) data to describe the patterns of marital behavior and the association between socio-economic status (SES) and marital status. Preliminary results show that the proportion of people reporting as "married" declined from 40% in 1995 to about 36% in 1999. On average, about 52% of males reported as being never married compared to 45% of females. Multinomial logistic regression results show that, compared to the never married group, individuals in the higher SES groups are associated with declining odds of being in any of the marital status groups. These results persist even after controlling for demographic and socioeconomic factors such as race, sex, education, and province. Recent changes in the level of socioeconomic development and individual behavior are probable explanations for the findings of this study.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Union Formation and Dissolution and Parents' Living Arrangements