11 June 2014

The average age of first marriage increased in Rwanda in last three decades

Since the 1978 there has been a trend towards later first marriage for both men and women. The fourth Population and Housing Census conducted in Rwanda in August 2012 (2012RPHC) realized that the average age of first marriage for women climbed from 22.9 years in 1991 to 25 years in 2012, while for men it was 27.4 years in 2012 from 26.8 years both in 1991 and 2002.

The average age of first marriage differs also according to the level of education, for both men and women: more the person gets educated; more he/she gets married late. In 2012, while women without education get their first marriage at 23.2 years in average, the women with university degree get their first marriage at 28 years in average, almost five years of difference.

And among men, the age at first marriage was 25.7 years for those without education and 32.5 years for those who completed university studies, a difference of almost seven years.

And if regarded in areas of residence, females and males in urban get married latest than in rural. The average age of the first marriage for females in urban is 26 years while in rural area this average is 25 years. For males, the difference is bigger between urban and rural areas (30 years and 26.5 years respectively).

The 2012RPHC realized also that the percentage of persons aged 50 years and above who have never married is increasing among males (from 2.5% in 1991 to 4.5 in 2012) and among females (from 1.1% in 1991 to 4.2% in 2012).

During the census time, 5,096,520 persons were aged between 15 years and 49 years, with 2,646,427 females while 1,091,370 persons were aged 50 years and above among them 625,505 were females.

By: Claude Nyirimanzi

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