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Recent trends in first marriage in Russia: retarded second demographic transition

Sergei Zakharov, Russian Academy of Sciences

In Russia, marriage remained early and universal over the 20th century. By the 1990s, mean age at first marriage was the same as in the second half of the 19th century. The traditional marriage pattern continued to persist despite the drastic political and economic changes that took place over the last 100 years since the collapse of the Russian Empire through the breakdown of the empire of the Soviet Union. Only did the Second World bring short-lived interruptions in age patterns of first marriage. In the mid-1990s, the age at first marriage began to increase, while the first birth is delayed. Cohabitation outside marriage develops intensively. Obviously, Russia is leaving the traditional marriage pattern for a new one. Two-three decades later than the western European countries, Russia is entering the Second Demographic Transition, and in the foreseeable future returning to the previous model of family formation is hardly possible.

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Presented in Session 34: The ongoing nuptiality transition in developed countries