Journal of Family History: Studies in Family, Kinship and Demography vol:36 issue:1 pages:72-92
Economic, social, political, and demographic processes changed Western European cities strongly during the nineteenth century. Especially during this time, the northern part of Belgium (Flanders) became highly urbanized. Investigating the long-term development of the marriage pattern in the cities of Antwerp, Aalst, and Ghent gives a detailed picture of the evolution of the urban marriage pattern. In this article, specific emphasis is on gender, social, and migration distinctions. The results confirm that there is a male-female difference and variation among various social and migrant groups in the age at first marriage during the period 1800-1906. Moreover, regional differences are also visible. In the port city of Antwerp, massive immigration caused a unique evolution in the age at first marriage during the last decades of the nineteenth century, which did not appear in the textile cities of Aalst and Ghent during this time.