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Family Structure in Lebanon

Most households are made up of four (19.7 percent) or five (18.5 percent) persons. The percentage of households made up of seven or more persons is 12.6 percent, and the percentage of single-person households is 7.3 percent. 41.9 percent of the latter are elderly people, and most of these are women. The overall average household size in Lebanon has declined from 5.4 individuals per household in 1970, and 4.8 individuals in 1997, to 4.3 individuals in 2004. 85.8 percent of households have a male head of household, and 14.2 percent of households are headed by women. Deprivation rates are higher among the latter.

One of the recent demographic trends in Lebanon is that both males and females tend to marry at a later age. A comparison of the years 1970, 1997 and 2004, for the whole of Lebanon, reveals that the unmarried percentage has almost doubled in this period. This applies more for females than for males.

There are discrepancies between regions. The percentage of unmarried people between 25 and 29 is significantly higher in Beirut than in the peripheral regions. In North Lebanon, 59.5 percent of young men within this age bracket are unmarried, compared to 78.7 percent in Beirut. For women in that age group, the discrepancy is even larger: 30.6 percent are unmarried in Nabatieh, 62.9 percent in Beirut.

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