Astana. KAZINFORM Kazakhstan’s Social Development Institute released a national report titled Kazakhstan’s Families-2022 on February 1. The report reveals new data and enduring trends on Kazakh families. For more details on the key takeaways from the report, see Kazinform’s latest article.
The last such survey was conducted in 2020. The report consists of four chapters and presents the findings of her 1,200 respondents from her 17 regions of the country.
«Although most Kazakh citizens recognize the value of the family, this institution is gradually beginning to change. , is changing in our country. The current generation has more opportunities for self-realization than previous generations, young people first want to get an education, find a job and become financially independent, ”she says Dr. Olga Nikolaeva. Commenting on this article, she is a PhD in sociology and one of the authors of the report.
Falling Marriage Rate
One of the key takeaways from this report is that marriage rates have declined over the last few years in all regions. She had the most registered marriages in 2017 with 141,791. The lowest index was reported in 2020 – 128,839.
However, the marriage rate was relatively high in Almaty City, Almaty and Turkistan Region, and Astana City.
The drop in marriage rates in 2020 is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this case, the 7.6% decline in the marriage rate is due to factors such as lockdowns, slowing government services and restrictions on wedding gifts.
Declining marriage rates reflect a complex interplay of social, economic and cultural factors.
People now have more alternative lifestyles available, such as cohabitation, civil marriage, and remaining single. These alternatives are becoming more acceptable, and some people are likely to choose them over marriage: 5.8% of respondents said in 2019, compared with her 5.8% in 2022. 2.9% of her were civil marriages.
Economic factors are also important. The cost of living is rising in many countries, and Kazakhstan is no exception, delaying or giving up on marriage for financial reasons.
Social norms around marriage have also changed over time, with less pressure to get married or stay married.
The report points to economic problems as the main reason for low marriage rates in rural areas. Nearly 6,500 villages with a population of 500 or more are at a disadvantage compared to cities due to low employment and income.
For comparison, the marriage rate in 2017 was 9.33 per 1,000 in urban areas and 5.85 in rural areas. By 2021, this gap had narrowed to 7.33 per 1,000 people in urban areas and 6.69 per 1,000 in rural areas.
About 28.3% of the survey respondents said they were positive about civil marriage, 33.1% said they were neutral, and 32.8% said they were negative.
«As the survey data show, among the surveyed population, civil marriage is perceived positively by an age cohort of 29 to 60 years. Adults in retirement or pre-retirement age have traditional attitudes towards their families. This generation perceives family as a formal marriage. As a rule, older generations focus on traditional family values – be it marriage between men and women, partner selection from common-law groups, and patriarchal full families,” the report said. read.
However, declining marriage rates are common only in Kazakhstan. This is a global trend. For example, in the United States, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, the marriage rate was 5.1 per 1,000 of the total population in 2020. There are 1,676,911 registered marriages in the United States, making her population 329,484,123.
Another example is the European Union. According to the latest data available from Eurostat, the EU marriage rate in 2020 was 3.2 per 1,000 inhabitants.
Divorce rate is declining
At the same time, reports show that the divorce rate is declining in Kazakhstan. On average, 140,000 of her families are registered nationwide each year, and 50,000 are broken up.
In 2017, 54,626 divorces were registered in Kazakhstan, which has fallen to 13,527 in the nine months of 2022. In 2017, the divorce coefficient was 3.03 per 1,000 population, but it has decreased to 2.54 per 1,000 in 2021. According to 2021, the highest divorce rates were recorded in the regions of Astana, Pavlodar, Karaganda and North Kazakhstan.
The disparity between urban and rural areas is also reflected in the divorce rate.
Since the early 2000s, the most common length of marriage among divorced persons, or the most “vulnerable period” for couples, has been between 5 and 9 years of cohabitation, with consistently high rates of divorce, up to 30 years. was. percent.
After 2021, the trends are changing. Her 29.2% of divorces occur between 1 and 4 years after marriage, and 26.3% occur between 5 and 9 years after marriage.
By comparison, in the United States, the divorce rate is 2.3 per 1,000 total population. In the European Union, according to the latest data for 2020, an estimated 800,000 divorces will occur in 2020, with her 1.6 divorces for every 1,000 people.
When asked to justify divorce, 61.7% cited alcoholism or drug addiction of one of their spouses as the main reason. Domestic violence against spouse or children was 51.1%. 47% cited infidelity, 38.4% gambling and 22% “non-traditional sexual orientation of one of the spouses” as the main reasons for divorce.
baby boom in Kazakhstan
In Kazakhstan, more families are choosing to have children later in life, but data show fertility rates have increased since the pandemic. One of the main reasons is that people have had to stay home due to coronavirus-related restrictions.
In recent years, the total fertility rate, which refers to the number of children per woman of childbearing age, has risen steadily. Her fertility rate at the end of 2021 was 3.32.
By region, Turkistan (5.1), Mangistau (4.57) and Kyzylorda (4.36) have the highest total fertility rates, with more than 5 children per woman.
Northern regions of Kazakhstan tend to have lower birth rates, North Kazakhstan region (1.97) and Kostanay region (1.88).
At the same time, the average age at which women give birth to their first child is rising from 24.6 in 2017 to 25.2 in 2021.
Data vary by region. In the Southern and Western Regions, the age at first birth is decreasing from 23 years in 2017 to 22.5 years in 2021 in Turkestan Region and from 24.6 years in 2020 to 24.1 years in 2021 in Mangistau Region. . .
Conversely, women in big cities such as Astana (26 in 2017 to 27 in 2021) and Almaty (26.9 in 2017 to 28.1 in 2021) tend to have their first child at a later age. there is.
A baby boom can pose a range of risks and challenges to the country. This is an economic burden, especially when countries lack the infrastructure, resources, and services to support a growing population, leaving more children out of reach for health care, vaccinations, and other services. Requiring access places an additional burden on healthcare. pressure on the education system.
Kazakhstan is already facing a school shortage. Governments are trying to address this problem by building more schools, hiring teachers and other conditions, but they may not be enough to keep up with the growing population.
95% of respondents are satisfied with their family relationships
According to the survey, 94.5% of respondents are satisfied with their family relationships. At the same time, 4.7% of her respondents are more or less dissatisfied with their family life.
Respondents were asked about their satisfaction with family relationships. values that you want to instill in your children. family traditions; spending time together; intergenerational interactions and details of parenting;
The study revealed a correlation between levels of financial well-being and satisfaction with family life. Respondents with relatively low incomes were more likely to report being dissatisfied with their family relationships. 12.5% of respondents who do not have enough money for groceries at home are dissatisfied with their home life.
Important values that families seek to instill in their children include hard work (33.8%), self-respect (31.8%), honesty (31.7%), respect for elders (25.3%), and respect for others ( 16.6%).
Interestingly, over the years some values have become less important to the family. Diligence (64.1% in 2020 to 33.8% in 2022), respect for elders (54.9% in 2020 to 25.3% in 2022), love of the motherland (16.4% to 7.1% in 2022) % fart).
Overall, Kazakh families maintain a traditional family structure, with the man as the head of the family and the woman’s responsibility for household chores, which both men and women believe.
Women spend more time with their children, and men are often responsible for the financial provision of their families.
However, being a parent is perceived as a shared responsibility by respondents.
Traditional gender roles perpetuate and exacerbate the challenges women face when they have to balance work and home. A woman’s contribution to the family is often an ‘invisible load’, including mental and emotional.
Compounding this problem is the fact that many employers, businesses and organizations do not target working mothers. This is the reality for at least 48.5% of employed women in Kazakhstan who combine work and childcare.
«Family policy trends affect many aspects of family life, including economic and social values. It is worth noting that great attention is paid not only to socially vulnerable people, but also to traditional types of families,” says Nikolaeva. To ensure compatibility, labor law sets out norms on flexible forms of employment and parents’ rights to leave to care for their children. Of course, the state supports socially vulnerable citizens in all ways and provides opportunities for all, but the only problem is that not everyone is aware of the existing state programs. is.”
Family policy development is a government priority in Kazakhstan, with a range of measures in place to support families and children in the country, including maternity and child care benefits, housing programs, and violence prevention programs. But more needs to be done to ensure that no one is left behind.