THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Marriage Patterns in Pakistan through Net Nuptiality Tables-1968 & 1971
In studying the processes which bring about changes in the size and composition of a population, an appraisal of marriage patterns is of special significance because the age and rate of marriage formation relate directly’to changes in population composition. In a society like Pakistan where fertility takes place predominantly through the formation of families by marriages, the frequency of marriages at different ages has direct bearing on the effective length of reproductive period. Thus, for getting a proper insight into the demographic phenomena, statistics on marriages are also of great interest to demographers along with information on fertility, mortality and migration. Studies on frequencies of marriages by age, referred to in the demographic terminology as nuptiality studies, are rather limited in demographic literature, particularly in comparison with studies on fertility and mortality. There are two obvious reasons for relatively low priority given to this subject in spite of due recognition of its importance. Firstly, because of the rapid growth of population since the turn of the century the role of fertility and mortality as direct determinants of growth patterns has been much more significant. As a result, the major interest of researchers has remained focused on the vital events contributing to the natural increase, viz. births and deaths. Secondly, a regular system of marriage registration is limited to a few countries in the world, and in most of the other countries, such information is either not available or if in some cases it is available, no regular statistics are compiled out of them. The limited availability of statistics on incidence of marriage through vital registration does not imply that information on marriage patterns is not available from other sources. In fact much work has been done on the basis of data on age distribution of population by marital status provided by censuses or surveys.