Marriage Patterns Among Palestinians in Israel

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Marriage age among Palestinians in Israel is rising, the proportion of women marrying at very young ages is declining, and the proportion of women never marrying is rising. This study employed a demographic approach to investigate these changes in marriage patterns and their relationship to changes in education and in the availability of mates. Palestinians in Israel are an interesting case in this respect because they are experiencing a rapid decline in fertility concurrent with a rapid increase in education. Using Israeli census data from 1961, 1972, 1983 and 1995, the findings show that while education affected marriage timing among men and women, the availability of mates affected marriage timing only among women. As expected, having no schooling raised the odds of early marriage, and tertiary education lowered them, for both men and women. Tertiary schooling raised the odds of delayed marriage for men and women. For women, the ratio of men to women at marrying age raised the odds of early marriage and lowered the odds of delayed marriage. The continuing increase in education is likely to delay marriage further in the future, and the decline in fertility should result in more balanced sex ratios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-380
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal of Population
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Arabs
  • Early marriage
  • Israel
  • Marriage timing
  • Palestinians
  • Sex ratios

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography


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