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Age at First Marriage and First Birth Interval in Ethiopia: Analysis of the Roles of Social and Demographic Factors
Authors: Eshetu Gurmu, and Dula Etana
Source: African Population Studies, Vol 28, No 3; DOI:
Topic(s): Marriage
Maternal health
Reproductive health
Country: Africa
Published: SEP 2014
Abstract: The ages at which females establish marital union and give first birth depend on and result in varying demographic features. Utilizing the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey Data, this study examined determinants of first birth interval. The analysis was made using Cox proportional hazard model and Kaplan Meier plot based on data collected from 10,240 ever-married women in the age group 15 to 49. The result shows that first marriage at early age, lower level of education, older marriage cohort, and residence in Amhara region significantly elongated first birth interval. It reveals that timings of marriage and first birth are partly governed by social factors and marriage practices of the society although modernization factors have roles to play. The findings indicate the importance of considering the context within which marriage and first birth take place to address reproductive health problems of women and speed-up the achievement of the targets set in the National Population Policy of Ethiopia. Keywords Age at first marriage; Age at first birth; First birth interval; Ethiopia