Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 141–156 | Cite as

Marriage form and fertility in rural China: an investigation in three counties

Original Paper


Using data from two surveys in three counties where the prevalence of uxorilocal marriage differs greatly, this paper analyzes impact of marriage form, individual, family, and social factors on fertility and its regional differences. The results show that, under the Chinese patrilineal joint family system, uxorilocal marriage does not universally increase fertility, which is likely to be determined by other factors. It is further found that fertility differs greatly in the three regions, and is significantly lower in regions where uxorilocal marriage is common than in regions where virilocal marriage is dominant. Women’s marriage cohort, age at first marriage, and number of sisters all have significant effects on fertility. These findings address the process and consequences of change in rural family and marriage customs during the current demographic and social transition.


China Fertility Marriage form 


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This paper is partly supported by the program for New Century Excellent Talents (NCET) in Universities, Education Ministry of China.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Population and Development Studies, School of Public Policy and AdministrationXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Morrison Institute for Population and Resource StudiesStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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