Transitions to adulthood in urban South Africa: evidence from a panel survey

David Lam, University of Michigan
Jeremy Seekings, University of Cape Town

This paper uses the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS), a new longitudinal survey of 4,800 young people in metropolitan Cape Town, to analyze multiple dimensions of the transition to adulthood. Using both retrospective histories and repeated waves, CAPS provides data on reproductive health, sexual activity, schooling, work, and living arrangements for urban youth. Results indicate high levels of sexual activity, but low levels of marriage and cohabitation. Over 70% of 18 year-old African females have had sex, 22% have been pregnant, and 14% have given birth, but only 4% have lived with a partner. These patterns are combined with high levels of school enrolment, but limited transitions into employment for both males and females.

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Presented in Session 154: Passages to adulthood in developing countries (1)