Marriage dying in SA?

Statistics show that fewer couples will make it to the altar. Is it a sign that nuptials are no longer ideal?

“Lifestyle changes among South Africans have contributed to fewer marriages, particularly customary marriages” said the SA Institute of Race Relations.

Between 2003 and 2010, the number of civil as well as customary marriages registered every year declined by eight percent according to researcher Thuthukani Ndebele.

Using figures from Stats SA, Thuthukani said the decline in customary marriages was considerably more pronounced than that of civil marriages.

"Customary marriages dropped by 42 percent from 17,283 registered in 2003 to 9,996 in 2010. Civil marriages decreased by four percent from 178,689 to 170,826."

He said the lifestyle choices among black people, such as getting married at a "later stage" and cohabitation outside of marriage, now had less stigma attached to them.

"It's not that people are not getting married at all, but for example in urban areas there is a lot of cohabitation...," said Thuthukani.

He said the number of households was going up while the average household size was shrinking, which suggested that more people preferred to live on their own or with their unmarried partners.

"On the other hand, children born to unmarried parents are more likely to end up living in single-parent households, which are also more vulnerable to poverty."

He said children raised by married parents were statistically less likely to become teenage parents, delinquents, school drop-outs, and drug or alcohol abusers.

Are you married? We would like to know why you got hitched in the comment box below.



Read Women24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.