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First Union Patterns Around the World: Introduction to the Special Issue

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Over the past few decades, the typical ages at which young adults enter a first union have risen in many regions of the world. Demographers have long been interested in marriage patterns, because variations in the timing of marriage and in the percentage ever-married have been key factors in modifying rates of population growth. To this long-standing interest, we must now add new reasons for demographers to pay attention to age at marriage. Most notably, variations can signal profound changes in social relations within the family and in the labor market. This special issue presents six articles drawn from an international seminar on first union patterns around the world, organized by the Panel on Nuptiality of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population. The authors present new findings on world trends and on recent developments in Canada, China, India, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the United States.

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Correspondence to Andrew J. Cherlin.

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Cherlin, A.J. First Union Patterns Around the World: Introduction to the Special Issue. Popul Res Policy Rev 33, 153–159 (2014).

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