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Libyan Family

Historically, Libyan society has revolved around the family, with grandparents, parents, married sons with families, and unmarried relatives living often together in one house. This was a concomitant of the tribal structure of rural society. In recent years, urbanization, economic factors, and migration have disrupted these patterns, although they retain the strength of normative values.

The average household size in Libya in 2000-2006 was 6.3, but total fertility fell rapidly between 1960 (7.05 births per woman) and 2011 (2.5 births).

Between the late 1970s and the early 1990s, the total fertility rate (TFR) in Libya declined by 44 percent, a high rate compared with Egypt, for example. One reason for this was the growing use of contraception, which increased from 5 percent among women aged 15-49 in 1978 to 45 percent in 1997. Another factor was the increase in the mean age of marriage (1973: 18.7 for women, 24.6 for men; 1984: 23.0 for women, 27.4 for men; 1995 29.2 for women 32.0 for men) (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Marriage Data 2008).

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