(<< i know. i've got a double definite there!)

in How unique is the Western European marriage pattern? A comparison of nuptiality in historical Europe and the contemporary Arab world [pdf], engelen and puschmann have found that, in the arab world today, both men and women are marrying at a very late age on average — kinda like nw europe behind the hajnal line (click on charts for LARGER view):

the authors reckon that men and women in the middle east/north africa/arab world are putting off marriage ’til later nowadays simply because it’s expensive to get married and start a family in today’s world (sounds familiar!). i wonder how long this delayed marriage pattern will last in this part of the world?

one way that the arab world’s new marriage pattern is unlike what goes on behind the hajnal line is that there is still (near) universal marriage in the arab world. everyone’s getting married late — but everyone is getting married [pg. 14]:

“There are also interesting differences. Especially Arab men in the age category 25‐29 have less chance of being married in 2000 than their European counterpart one century earlier. Since only very few men remain single at age 45‐49, this points to a very high age at marriage. Women in Arab countries marry younger than European women did and by the time menopause sets in, almost all have married. The convergence between historic Europe and contemporary Arabic nations thus only applies to the age at marriage. Permanent celibacy remains a difference between the two societies. Nevertheless there are signs that in the near future Arab societies may also see a rise in the never marrying proportions of the population. After all, in countries like Bahrain, Lebanon and Kuwait marriage show already relatively high percentages of celibates in the age‐category 45‐49.”

previously: behind the hajnal line

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