Tag Archives: Arab

Burkina Faso Wins! (Polygamy Edition)

Emmanuel Todd has gathered some interesting data on polygamy (actually polygyny) rates.

The world champion is Burkina Faso! Over half of its married women have co-wives. (What do all the leftover men do?)

Arab and African Polygamy Rates

(% of married women with co-wife)

ARAB   COUNTRIES

Jordan 2002 6.8
Yemen 1997 7.1
Morocco 2003-04 4.7

BORDER   COUNTRIES

Sudan 1978-79 20.2
Sudan   (North) 9.3
Sudan   (Darfur) 37.9
Mauretania 2000-01 11.6

BLACK   AFRICA

Chad 1996-97 39.2
Chad   Muslims 35.6
Chad   Catholics 46.8
Chad   Animists 51.4
Mali 1996-97 44.3
Burkina   Faso 1998-99 54.7
Ivory   Coast 1994 36.6
Ivory   Coast Catholics 24.7
Ivory   Coast Muslims 44.5
Ivory   Coast Animists 47.2

Nigeria

1990

40.9

In Arab countries 5-10% of women are in polygamous marriages. In black Africa, 30-55% of women. The highest levels are in interior West Africa.

Another difference: Arab-style marriage of parallel cousins [father’s brother’s daughter] is uncommon in Africa. Instead cross-cousin [between the children of brother and sister] or exogamous marriage is the norm.

Reference:

Youssef Courbage and Emmanuel Todd, A Convergence of Civilizations: The Transformation of Muslim Societies (Columbia UP, 2011) p. 44.

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