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4. Demography

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reviews the current demographic features of contemporary Muslim majority countries with a focus on social and economic factors that have strong implications for the lives of women living in Islamic cultures. It discusses the direct components of demographic change, births, deaths and migration, as well as several indirect but important factors such as age at marriage and women's education. This discussion of the diversity in fertility, mortality and migration in Muslim-majority countries highlights the considerable social and cultural heterogeneity within the Muslim world. In economically diverse settings, researchers have observed that the decisions about marriage timing for men and women are increasingly influenced by economic considerations. Expectations of a longer life have important implications for time spent in schooling, the timing of marriage, as well as the timing of household formation.

Keywords: demographic features; household formation; Islamic cultures; marriage timing; Muslim world; women's education



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