Cohabitation and Human Development in Latin America and Developed Countries
- MAIRA COVRE-SUSSAI
The study analyzes nuptiality of women in 14 Latin American countries whose population represents about 82% of the total Latin America population. The countries were selected according to availability of data derived from population censuses taken from the 50s to the 70s. Starting age of nuptiality considered corresponded to cohorts between 15 and 20 years of age in 1950, 1955, and 1960. Starting point was the theoretical model developed by A.J. Coale measuring the values of 3 parameters: 1) starting age of nuptiality; 2) increase as age advances; and 3) intensity of the phenomenon in the cohorts considered. It must be taken into consideration that general nuptiality does not mean legal nuptiality only. Results of findings showed that there are countries in which nuptiality is on the increase Argentina, Chile, Brazil), and countries where the level of nuptiality remains constant (Nicaragua, Guatemala). In countries where nuptiality is on the increase the age of women at time of nuptiality tends to decrease; in countries where nuptiality is decreasing the inverse phenomenon is apparent. There are countries where nuptiality is late (20-24 years old), such as Argentina and Chile, and countries where nuptiality is early (15-19 years old) such as most countries in the Caribbean. Legal nuptiality reaches 80% in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and lowers to less than 50% in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Evaluation of all data on the subject must consider the socioeconomic conditions inherent to the paricular country in consideration, and th fact that most are developing countries.