How are families changing in Jordan? New evidence on marriage and fertility trends among Jordanians and Syrian refugees - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

In a nutshell

  • Fertility decline appears to be resuming in Jordan after a long period during which fertility rates stalled. The national total fertility rate (TFR) in 2016 was 3.4 births per woman.
  • Syrian refugees in Jordan have higher fertility rates than Jordanian nationals, at a TFR of 4.4 births per woman. The fertility levels for current Syrian refugees are lower now than they were for this population prior to their displacement to Jordan.
  • There is no evidence that the Syrian refugee influx has impacted marriage or fertility rates among the Jordanian host population.
  • Early marriage is an important challenge in Jordan. Just under one in 10 Jordanian girls married before age 18 and about two in ten Syrian refugee girls. Girls who marry before age 18 are at greater risk of numerous negative health and socioeconomic outcomes.
  • Education is the main factor associated with older ages at marriage and childbirth among Jordanian women. The median age at first birth among Jordanian women varied from 20 years among those with less than basic education to 25 years among women with higher education.

Maia Sieverding

Assistant Professor of Public Health Practice at the American University of Beirut


Caroline Krafft

Assistant Professor of economics at St. Catherine University


Nasma Berri

American University of Beirut


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