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Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English volume
52
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520
Relative marriage frequency is measured by marriage rates ^{1} or nuptiality rates ^{1}, among which the crude marriage rate ^{2} gives the ratio of the total number of marriages to the total population in a given period. Male nuptiality ^{3} and female nuptiality ^{4} are often different, and can be studied separately. The terms male nuptiality and female nuptiality are used for the marriage frequency of the different sexes. A sex-specific marriage rate ^{5} can be computed with the appropriate population of each sex as a base. It is usual to distinguish between a first marriage rate ^{6}, which relates the number of bachelors or spinsters (515-3 and 4) marrying to the total number of bachelors and spinsters respectively and a remarriage rate ^{7} which relates the number of remarriages to the total number of widowed and divorced persons. Similar rates can be computed by age or age-group of husband and wife whenever marriages are classified by age at marriage ^{8} of each spouse; such rates are called age-specific marriage rates ^{9}. The tabulation of spouses by age at marriage permits the computation of the mean age at marriage ^{10} or average age at marriage ^{10} for the given year or period. Age differences between spouses ^{11} can be analyzed from a classification of the combined ages ^{12} of the spouses.
- 2. Sometimes the crude marriage rate is obtained by relating the number of newly married persons to the total population.
- 9. The terms marriage frequencies and first marriage frequencies have sometimes been used to refer to the ratio of the number of marriages or first marriages at a certain age, to the total number of persons of that age, irrespective of their marital status. Cumulated marriage frequencies and cumulated first marriage frequencies are used in cohort studies.
521
The prevalence of marriage in a generation of men or women is measured by the proportion never married ^{1}. This is usually equivalent to the proportion remaining single ^{2} at an age such as 50 after which first marriages are rare. The proportion remaining single at each age in a cohort can be computed from first marriage probabilities ^{3}, i.e. the proportion of single persons at exact age x who will marry before exact age x + 1, assuming that there is no mortality. For practical purposes, however, the proportion remaining single is usually obtained from census data as the proportion single ^{4} at that age in the corresponding cohort. When a classification of first marriages by age of the spouses is available the mean age at first marriage ^{5}, the median age at first marriage ^{6} and the modal age at first marriage ^{7} can all be computed. In the absence of data on the timing of marriages, it is often possible to compute a singulate mean age at marriage ^{8} from census data on the proportions single by age.
522
Nuptiality tables ^{1} resemble life tables, and combine various nuptiality functions. The gross nuptiality table ^{1} includes, by age, the first marriage probabilities (521-3) and proportions remaining single (521-2), as well as the number of first marriages ^{2} in a cohort of given size subjected to the prevailing nuptiality on the assumption that there is no mortality; it also gives the numbers remaining single ^{3} at various ages. The net nuptiality table ^{4} takes mortality as well as nuptiality into account, and is a particular case of double decrement tables (153-4). Such a table includes the single survivors ^{5}, the ever-married survivors ^{6}, the probability of single survival ^{7} and the expectation of unmarried life ^{8}.
523
A divorce rate ^{1} can be calculated in different ways. The crude divorce rate ^{2} gives the ratio of the number of divorces to the average population during a given period. The ratio of divorces to the number of married couples is sometimes computed and may be called the divorce rate for married persons ^{3}. If divorces are tabulated by the age of the divorced person or by duration of marriage, age-specific divorce rates ^{4} and duration-specific divorce rates ^{5} can be computed. Another index of divorce frequency is obtained by computing the number of divorces per new marriage ^{6}.
- 6. This is a period measure which relates the divorces of one year, either to the marriages of that year, or to a weighted average of the marriages of several years. In cohort analysis, it is possible to relate divorces in successive years to an initial marriage cohort to compute the cumulated proportion divorced.
524
When the requisite basic statistics are available, marriage dissolution probabilities ^{1} may be computed, showing for each sex the probability of the marriage being dissolved by death or divorce according to duration of marriage ^{2}; marriage dissolution tables are an application of double decrement life tables. Remarriage tables for widowed and divorced persons can also be computed, but the most common indices of remarriage are the relative frequency of remarriage ^{3}, i.e. the proportion of widowed or divorced persons who remarry, often given by age at widowhood or divorce, and by the interval between widowhood or divorce and remarriage. The latter information enables one to compute the mean interval between widowhood and remarriage ^{4} and the mean interval between divorce and remarriage ^{5}.
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