Describing Marital Dynamics in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries With Underutilized Demographic and Health Surveys Data

Courtney Allen , The DHS Program, ICF
Sara Yeatman, University of Colorado Denver

The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program collects data about key events in the life of the respondent during the five-year calendar period preceding the interview. This calendar is best known for its rich contraceptive and reproductive data, but lesser known, and even lesser used, are the union data: a month-by-month five-year history about the marital status of the respondent. We use the full set of DHS union calendars spanning 24 years (1990-2014) from 62 surveys in 25 countries from South America, Asia, and Africa to construct marital indicators that have never previously been described for lower- and middle-income countries. Specifically, we will use survival techniques to estimate the length of marriage and time to remarriage for women who marry or divorce within the calendar period. This descriptive analysis will offer new insight into marital dynamics and shed light on the utility of an under-utilized source of nuptiality data.

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 Presented in Session 90. Union Dissolution