Assessing the Determinants of Women’s Age at First Marriage in Rural and Urban Areas of Bangladesh: Insights From Quantile Regression (QR) Approaches

Main Article Content

Sorif Hossain
Md. Moyazzem Hossain
Sabina Yeasmin
Md. Shabbir Hossain Bhuiyea
Promit Barua Chowdhury
Md. Tareq Ferdous Khan


This study aims to assess the determinants of age at first marriage of women in rural and urban areas of Bangladesh. The multiple linear regression (MLR) and quantile regression (QR) were employed for analyzing the secondary datasets collected from the 2006, 2012–2013, and 2019 Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS). The study reveals that the prevalence of early marriage in both rural and urban areas of Bangladesh was extremely high (79% vs. 21%) in 2019. An increasing trend of early marriage in rural areas is evident from 2006 to 2012 compared to a decreasing trend from 2013 to 2019. On the contrary, an opposite scenario is evident in the urban areas. The MLR and QR analysis consistently show that women’s age, geographical division, ethnic group, religion, wealth index, and women’s education are significantly associated with age at first marriage. More specifically, the higher likelihood of early marriage is evident for women living in rural areas, with a low family income, and lower education, living either in Barisal, Rangpur, Khulna, or Rajshahi, and believing in Islam. Generating and implementing more income opportunities for women, raising awareness about the drawback of early marriage, and designing new strategies would improve the current situation.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Author Biography

Sorif Hossain, Department of Statistics, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Bangladesh

Corresponding author


• Ariho, P., & Kabagenyi, A. (2020). Age at first marriage, age at first sex, family size preferences, contraception and change in fertility among women in Uganda: Analysis of the 2006–2016 period. BMC Women’s Health, 20, Article 8.

• Ayiga, N., & Rampagane, V. (2013). Determinants of age at first marriage in sub-Saharan Africa: A comparative study of Uganda and South Africa. Journal of Social Development in Africa, 28(1), 9–36.

• Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), & UNICEF Bangladesh. (2007, October). Bangladesh Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2006, Progotir Pathey: Volume 1: Technical Report. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

• Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), & UNICEF Bangladesh. (2015, March). Bangladesh Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2012–2014, Progotir Pathey: Final Report. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

• Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), & UNICEF Bangladesh. (2019, December). Bangladesh Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2019, Progotir Pathey: Survey Findings Report. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

• Bhattacharjee, A., & Das, N. C. (2011, June). Profile of the adolescent girls: Findings from the Baseline Survey for Social and Financial Empowerment of Adolescents (SoFEA) programme (BRAC Research Monograph Series No. 46).

• Bhowmik, J., Biswas, R. K., & Hossain, S. (2021). Child marriage and adolescent motherhood: A nationwide vulnerability for women in Bangladesh. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(8), Article 4030.

• Caldwell, B. K. (2005). Factors affecting female age at marriage in South Asia: Contrasts between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Asian Population Studies, 1(3), 283–301.

• Carmichael, S. (2011). Marriage and power: Age at first marriage and spousal age gap in lesser developed countries. The History of the Family, 16(4), 416–436.

• Chowdhury, S., Rahman, M. M., & Zayed, N. M. (2020). Factors affecting early marriage in Bangladesh: An analysis on BDHS, 2014 Data. Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Science, 4(1), 40–47.

• Çöl, M., Bilgili Aykut, N., Usturalı Mut, A. N., Koçak, C., Uzun, S. U., Akın, A., Say, L., & Kobeissi, L. (2020). Sexual and reproductive health of Syrian refugee women in Turkey: A scoping review within the framework of the MISP objectives. Reproductive Health, 17, Article 99.

• Das, K., Krzywinski, M., & Altman, N. (2019). Quantile regression. Nature Methods, 16, 451–452.

• Davino, C., Furno, M., & Vistocco, D. (2014). Quantile Regression: Theory and Applications (1st ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

• de Groot, R., Kuunyem, M. Y., & Palermo, T. (2018). Child marriage and associated outcomes in northern Ghana: A cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 18, Article 285.

• Godha, D., Hotchkiss, D. R., & Gage, A. J. (2013). Association between child marriage and reproductive health outcomes and service utilization: A multi-country study from South Asia. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52(5), 552–558.

• Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2017 (Bangladesh). Retrieved from

• Grégoire, G. (2015). Multiple linear regression. EAS Publications Series, 66, 45–72.

• Hossain, M. G., Mahumud, R. A., & Saw, A. (2016). Prevalence of child marriage among Bangladeshi women and trend of change over time. Journal of Biosocial Science, 48(4), 530–538.

• Hossain, M. M., Abdulla, F., Banik, R., Yeasmin, S., & Rahmanid, A. (2022). Child marriage and its association with morbidity and mortality of under-5 years old children in Bangladesh. PloS ONE, 17(2), Article e0262927.

• Hossain, M. M., & Majumder, A. K. (2019). Determinants of the age of mother at first birth in Bangladesh: quantile regression approach. Journal of Public Health, 27(4), 419–424.

• Hossain, S., Biswas, R. K., & Hossain, M. A. (2021). Body mass index of women in Bangladesh: Comparing multiple linear regression and quantile regression. Journal of Biosocial Science, 53(2), 247–265.

• Hotchkiss, D. R., Godha, D., Gage, A. J., & Cappa, C. (2016). Risk factors associated with the practice of child marriage among Roma girls in Serbia. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 16, Article 6.

• Ikamari, L. D. E. (2005). The effect of education on the timing of marriage in Kenya. Demographic Research, 12, Article 1.

• Kamal, S. M. M. (2011). Socio-economic determinants of age at first marriage of the ethnic tribal women in Bangladesh. Asian Population Studies, 7(1), 69–84.

• Kamal, S. M. M., Hassan, C. H., Alam, G. M., & Ying, Y. (2015). Child marriage in Bangladesh: Trends and determinants. Journal of Biosocial Science, 47(1), 120–139.

• Koenker, R. (2009). Quantreg: Quantile regression. R Package Version.

• Lacalle-Calderon, M., Perez-Trujillo, M., & Neira, I. (2017). Fertility and economic development: Quantile regression evidence on the Inverse J-shaped Pattern. European Journal of Population, 33(1), 1–31.

• Laelago, T., Habtu, Y., & Yohannes, S. (2019). Proximate determinants of fertility in Ethiopia; An application of revised Bongaarts model. Reproductive Health, 16(1), Article 13.

• Lortie, C. (2017). R for Data Science. Journal of Statistical Software, 77(1), 1–3.

• Mahdaviazad, H., Malekmakan, L., Sayadi, M., & Tadayon, T. (2019). Trends in age at first marriage in women and related factors: A population-based study in southwestern Iran. Women & Health, 59(2), 171–180.

• Mathur, S., Greene, M., & Malhotra, A. (2003). Too young to wed: The lives, rights, and health of young married girls. International Center for Research on Women (ICRW).

• Nasrullah, M., Zakar, R., Zakar, M. Z., & Krämer, A. (2014). Girl-child marriage and its association with morbidity and mortality of children under 5 years of age in a nationally-representative sample of Pakistan. Journal of Pediatrics, 164(3), 639–646.

• National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT), Mitra and Associates, & Macro International. (2009, March). Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2007. NIPORT; Mitra and Associates; and Macro International.[April-10-2009].pdf

• National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT), Mitra and Associates, & ICF International. (2013, January). Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2011. NIPORT; Mitra and Associate; and ICF International.

• Nour, N. M. (2009). Child marriage: A silent health and human rights issue. Reviews in Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2(1), 51–56.

• Saleheen, A. A. S., Afrin, S., Kabir, S., Habib, M. J., Zinnia, M. A., Hossain, M. I., Haq, I., & Talukder, A. (2021). Sociodemographic factors and early marriage among women in Bangladesh, Ghana and Iraq: An illustration from Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey. Heliyon, 7(5), Article e07111.

• Santhya, K. G. (2011). Early marriage and sexual and reproductive health vulnerabilities of young women: A synthesis of recent evidence from developing countries. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 23(5), 334–339.

• Sayem, A. M., & Nury, A. T. M. S. (2011). Factors associated with teenage marital pregnancy among Bangladeshi women. Reproductive Health, 8, Article 16.

• Solanke, B. L., Salau, O. R., Rahman, S. A., & Popoola, O. E. (2020). Do the prevalence and correlates of adverse reproductive health outcomes differ by marriage cohorts? Evidence from a study of two marriage cohorts in Nigeria. Health Care for Women International, 42(4-6), 462–484.

• Streatfield, P. K., Kamal, N., Ahsan, K. Z., & Nahar, Q. (2015). Early marriage in Bangladesh: Not as early as it appears. Asian Population Studies, 11(1), 94–110.

• Svanemyr, J., Chandra-Mouli, V., Christiansen, C. S., & Mbizvo, M. (2012). Preventing child marriages: First international day of the girl child “my life, my right, end child marriage.” Reproductive Health, 9, Article 31.

• Uddin, M. E. (2015). Family socio-cultural values affecting early marriage between Muslim and Santal communities in rural Bangladesh. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 35(3/4), 141–164.

• UNICEF. (2014, July). Ending Child Marriage: Progress and prospects.

• UNICEF. (2018, March 6). 25 million child marriages prevented in last decade due to accelerated progress, according to new UNICEF estimates.

• UNICEF. (2020, March 11). Child marriage around the world.

• Wong, O. M. H. (2005). The socioeconomic determinants of the age at first marriage among women in Hong Kong. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 26(4), 529–550.