Marriage and Non-Marriage in Vietnam: Recent Patterns and Future Expectations

Lindy Williams, Cornell University
Florio O. Arguillas, Cornell University

Set in a context in which marriage postponement has made headlines in both academic and popular press outlets, this research was designed to assess current correlates of marriage and non-marriage in Vietnam, along with attitudes about the value of marriage and marriage alternatives. The data come from two sources: the three percent microdata sample of the 1999 Vietnam Census of Population and Housing, and 16 focus group interviews, eight of which were conducted in Hanoi and eight of which took place in rural communities in surrounding districts. This research examines the relevance of a literature that stresses increasing economic independence among women, and growing individualistic attitudes in general, as possible reasons for shifting marriage patterns. The census data allow us to examine non-marriage patterns according to indicators such as education, occupation, and location of residence, while the focus group design incorporates comparisons by gender, age, and rural versus urban residence.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 115: Marriage and Union Formation in Developing Countries