Waiting to Wed, Rushing to Birth: Who is Driving Trends in the Timing of Marriage and First Birth in Asia?

Kerry MacQuarrie, University of Washington

In many Asian countries, women are marrying later and the duration to their first marital birth is declining. These are not independent trends. Yet, variation in the first birth interval is only loosely explained by marriage timing. Using DHS data from six Asian countries, this study investigates the socio-demographic composition of both trends to elucidate the relationship between them. Specifically, it asks: • Within each country, are these trends universal or concentrated in selected segments of the population? • Are those subgroups delaying marriage the same as those with shortened birth intervals? • Do these population subgroups differ by country? The study examines the bivariate associations of age at marriage and first birth interval with: education, socio-economic status, religion, ethnicity, urban/rural residence, and region. Multivariate models identify socio-demographic determinants of later marriage and shorter birth intervals, the latter using a Heckman’s model to control for selection into marriage.

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Presented in Poster Session 7