Correlates and Consequences of Delayed Marriage in Malaysia

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Abdul Shukur Abdullah
Nai Peng Tey
Irwan Nadzif Mahpul
Nur Airena Aireen Azman
Rosdiana Abdul Hamid


This paper aims to examine the correlates of age at first marriage and the consequences of late marriage. Data for this paper were drawn from the 2014 Malaysian Population and Family Survey. Simple cross-tabulation and multiple classification analysis were used for the analysis. Age at marriage of women varied across socio-economic groups. Among the ethnic groups, the Other Bumiputera entered marriage earliest, followed by the Malays, Indians and Chinese. Age at marriage was positively associated with urbanisation, educational level, and women’s autonomy in marriage. The assumption of modern norms and ideas, and escalating cost of marriage are important determinants of marriage postponement. Late marriage has a direct impact on demographic outcomes, resulting in ultra-low fertility for some groups of the population. Marriage postponement has positive socio-economic outcomes for individuals. However, postponing marriage beyond the prime reproductive age may result in some reproductive health problems.


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