The separation of marriage and childbearing in the Philippines

Maria Midea M. Kabamalan, University of the Philippines

Late age at marriage has been an important policy tool in the Philippines to abate the continuous growth of the population. This assumes that with later age at marriage, the onset of childbearing will also be delayed and the total number of children will be fewer. However, fertility level in the country has remained high and contraceptive use has remained relatively low. Age at marriage however, continues to rise. Additionally, Filipinos continue to form unions but they do not necessarily “marry.” A growing number of Filipinos are now cohabiting, or start their unions by living together before formally marrying. Childbearing however, is not delayed. Using data from the Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study conducted in 1994 and 2002, this paper examines the separation of childbearing from marriage using multivariate and decomposition techniques to separate effects of changing socioeconomic composition from attitudes and behavior.

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Presented in Session 67: Transitions in family life: new links of nuptiality and fertility