The timing, prevalence and stability of marriages and unions not only shape the reproductive behaviour of women and men but are also linked to wider social and economic changes such as improvements in women’s educational attainment and labour force participation. Childbearing is also increasingly taking place outside of marriage for a growing number of countries worldwide. The Population Division produces estimates, compilations and analyses of marriage and union levels and trends.
World Marriage Data provides comparable and up-to-date national data over time on the marital status of populations, the singulate mean age at marriage (SMAM) and the number of marriages and divorces. World Fertility Report includes selected marriage-related indicators over time as well. Global, regional and country analyses are also available in expert group meetings and panels, reports and informative briefs noted below.