PSC African Demography Working Paper Series

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version

August 1989


African Demography Working Papers Working Paper No. 18 August 1989


Marriage is an important institution for both individuals and society as a whole. It is a significant event in the life cycle of individuals; for society at large it represents the creation of a new unit of production, consumption, distribution and exchange of goods and services. In most comparative studies of nuptiality it has been usual to characterize sub-Saharan pattern of marriage as “early and universal”. Early and virtually continuous marriage throughout a woman's reproductive years is also maintained by several related marriage customs including polygyny, levirate marriage, and bride wealth or bride price (van de Walle, 1968;Goldman and Pebley, 1986).


Africa, Sudan, marriage, marriage patterns, marriage customs, polygyny, bridewealth, bride wealth, bride price, nuptiality, fertility, Sudan Fertility Survey, data, survey, census, households, Sub-Saharan Africa, marital status, World Fertility Surveys, marital status, cohabitation, age, timing, regional variations, regional differences, single, nomadic, age at first marriage, marital history, migration, marital trends



Date Posted: 27 November 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.