Princeton European Fertility Project:
Definitions of Singulate Mean Age at Marriage

The countries in the following list have the singulate mean age of marriage in cols. 40-44 of the data records in the Master File. Singulate mean age at marriage, according to the standard definition, is the mean age at marriage of those who eventually get married. For the purpose of the Princeton European Fertility Project, it was calculated at follows:

  • The sum, from age 0 to 50, of the difference between the proportion single at age x and the proportion single at age 50
  • divided by 1.0 minus the proportion single at age 50.

Rather than actual cohorts of women, synthetic cohorts were used in the Princeton European Fertility Project, represented by the women of each age at the time of a census or other tabulation. In many cases, the summation was actually done over five-year age groups, with the proportion single in each age group multiplied by 5. Also, the proportion single at ages younger than those shown in tables of marital status was normally assumed to be 1. Exceptions to these normal methods are detailed below.

Countries which are not shown in the following list do not have data on singulate mean age at marriage. The two-digit number preceding the country name is the country identifier found in columns 1-2 of the master file.

  • 03 Belgium - summation of proportion single through age 47.5, rather than age 50. Calculated by R. Treadway from data provided by R. Lesthaegue.
  • 04 Denmark (all Series) - standard definition, except for 1960, when a complex procedure was used to produce estimates for total population (not urban/rural).
  • 07 France - standard definition.
  • 08 Germany (Series 2) - No data for W. Germany (areas 1-11, 27). For E. Germany (areas 12-20, 28), for 1962, data were accumulated by single years of age, with an estimate produced for ages below 20.
  • 11 Italy (Series 0 and 1) - Mean age of marriage as calculated by Massimo Livi Bacci, and presented in Table 2.26 of his book, A History of Italian Fertility during the Last Two Centuries. The data used were taken from the three years surrounding the year given in cols. 9-12, except for 1911, when the years 1911-13 were used, and 1961, when 1959-61 were used.
  • 18 Spain (Series 0) - mean age at marriage, calculated from data for the following years:
    • 1860 - 1863-65
    • 1900 - 1900-02
    • 1930 - 1929-31
    • 1950 - 1951-53
  • 20 Switzerland - standard definition.
  • 22 Bulgaria (All Series) - standard definition.
  • 23 Czechoslovakia (All Series) - standard definition.
  • 24 Hungary (Series 0 and 1) - standard definition.
  • 25 Rumania (All Series) - standard definition.
  • 26 Yugoslavia(Series 0 and 1) - standard definition.