ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Patterns of Marriage Dissolution in India

Regional, Socio-economic, and Religious Trends

Data from the Census and District Level Household Survey-3 (2007–08) are used in this paper. The factors of marriage dissolution in India and its regions are investigated using multivariate hazard analysis. The results show that dissolution rates are higher in North-east, South, and West India than in other regions. The risk of marriage dissolution is twice as high for women in urban areas than rural, and higher among the poor than the non-poor, and among the childless than among women with at least one child.

The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions and comments on this manuscript.

In most developing societies, birth occurs almost exclusively in wedlock, and marriage is one of the most important demographic processes (Bhagat 2002). In Indian society, marriage is considered a sacred, social event (Hosein 2002). Socio-economic development and improvement in education over the past four decades have caused changes in the attitude towards marriage; a dramatic increase in age at marriage of both sexes; and an increase in the number of free choice marriages, inter-caste marriages, divorces, and separations (D’Souza 1972; Kadi 1987; Singh 1992; Nayab 2009; Jones 2010).

Divorce has long been dissuaded in India, but its incidence has risen since the 1970s. According to the Census 2011 data, around 2.5 million women—1% of all ever-married women aged 15–49—are either divorced or separated (Census of India 2011). Only a few studies examine multiple correlates of rare events such as divorce on the basis of micro-level judicial data on divorce cases (Singh 1992; Rao and Sekhar 2002; Thakur 2009), likely because such data are scarce.

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Updated On : 4th May, 2021
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