Hajnal, John
June 1954
American Sociological Review;Jun54, Vol. 19 Issue 3, p295
Academic Journal
The Western world has experienced several unexpected demographic changes in recent years: an accelerated fall in death rates, a sharp rise in birth rates and a sharp rise in marriage rates. This last phenomenon has attracted less attention than the baby boom which it has helped to cause. Yet something of a revolution seems to have occurred in marriage patterns. In several countries there has been a shift toward earlier and more universal marriage which has no parallel in the period for which statistical records exist. To what extent have different socio-conomic groups participated in this change in marriage patterns. The changes have been far more pronounced in urban areas and in the more highly educated groups than in the rural areas and among the less educated. This article deals with the marriage patterns of groups distinguished by certain economic characteristics. Data relating to Sweden, Australia and Switzerland are analyzed. In the case of Sweden and Australia the data has been available with the distribution of the different groups by age and marital status. From these data the percentage ever married in each age group can be computed, that is, the percentage married, widowed or divorced. The Swiss Statistical Office tabulates marriages by the economic status of the bridegroom.


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