Age at first marriage in Peninsular Malaysia

Type Journal Article - Journal of Marriage and the Family
Title Age at first marriage in Peninsular Malaysia
Volume 41
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1979
Page numbers 877-891
The average age at marriage among women in Peninsular Malaysia has risen dramatically
from 18.5 years in 1947 to 22.3 years in 1970 (based on census data calculations
of the "singulate mean age at marriage"). This paper examines the socioeconomic
determinants of the average age at first marriage among women age 25-44 in
1966-1967 who were interviewed in a cross-sectional fertility survey of currently married
women in Peninsular Malaysia. Substantial differentials in age at first marriage
are associated with ethnicity, years of formal schooling, and premarital work experience,
while lesser differences are observed /or social and geographic origins.
Ethnic differences in age at first marriage remain wide even after statistically controlling,fvr
other socioeconomic background variables. A life-cycle model of the effects
ofsocial background variables on age at first marriage is estimated using dummy
variable regression analysis. Post-primary schooling and working before marriage
are the strongest variables that delay age at first marriage. These patterns are
common to all ethnic communities. As more women participate in higher education
and in employment, age at first marriage will probably be further delayed.

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