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Changing patterns in age at marriage and child birth in Rwanda

Anuja Jayaraman, Independent Consultant
S. Chandrasekhar, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research

Civil war and strife in the 1990’s not only slowed down the demographic transition in Rwanda but also altered the structure and composition of population. We use data from Rwanda DHS 2005 to estimate a Cox proportional hazard models to identify the determinants of age at marriage and first birth. After controlling for individual characteristics, we find that women living in clusters accounting for larger proportion of the sibling deaths in 1994, the year of genocide, were likely to marry later and have children later compared to those living in clusters accounting for lower proportion of sibling deaths. Possible reason for this finding is that the kinship structure of women who lost their siblings was destroyed. We also find that women living in regions with higher levels of infant mortality were at higher risk of having their first child earlier compared to women living in regions with lower infant mortality.

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Presented in Session 29: Changing household structures and socioeconomic roles