Nuptiality pattern in Saudi Arabia

M. K. Farag, Y. Y. Al-Mazrou, M. H. Baldo, K. M S Aziz, S. N. Al-Shehri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The data of this work are based on the 'Saudi Maternal and Child Health Survey' conducted in 1991. This was a nationwide house to house field survey. The study included 6294 ever-married Saudi female in the childbearing age who represent the target population. They were randomly selected from both urban and rural settings of the five geographical areas of Saudi Arabia. The mean current age of the sample of ever-married women was 31 years and the mean age at first marriage was 17 and 16 years for urban and rural females, respectively. Education was associated with upward shift of the age at first marriage. About 20 per cent of the sampled ever-married Saudi females got married before their 15th birthday and 83 per cent before reaching 20 years of age. These percentages are even higher in rural than urban settings. The overall percentage of women who were currently married at the time of the survey was 96 per cent. The divorced and widowed women of childbearing age were 2 and 3 per cent, respectively, of the total. Husband's educational level had positive impact on the frequency of divorce. The latter was highest among women married to illiterate husbands with a dose response pattern. Comparison has been made with the situation 4 years ago. An increase in literacy rates among Saudi ever-married women and their husbands was observed, however, a significant (P <0.05) difference still exists between female and male literacy rates (38 and 71 per cent, respectively). The events of early marriage, before the age of 15 years, became less frequent. There is an overall decline in teenage marriages which explains a large part of the recent changes observed in nuptiality and pattern of birth in Saudi Arabia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-20
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Tropical Pediatrics
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Immunology
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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