The project under the name “Russia. 10 years later” compares the findings of 2004 survey with 2015, and shows how the common perceptions about marriage and family changed over the years.
What Changed in Views of Russians About Marriage in 10 Years
- The number of families were housekeeping duties are shared by both husband and wife nearly doubled (24% in 2004 and 43% in 2015)/
- Accordingly, the number of families were the responsibility of a homemaker is the woman’s domain reduced by 1/3 (from 49% in 2004 to 33% in 2015).
- Russians believe in getting married later in life (the number of people thinking the best age to get married is 25-29 increased from 23% to 31%, and after 30 from 4% to 6%).
- However, more than half of respondents still believe in getting married before the age of 25 (62% in 2004 compared to 51% in 2015), which is still pretty young by western standards.
Time To Get Married
Surprisingly, just like in 2004, 1% of Russians believe in getting hitched before the age of 18.
- In general, Russian women prefer to get married earlier than men: 60% of females indicated their desire to get married by the age of 24, while only 40% of men think they should wed by that time.
- 37% of men believe in marrying at the age of 25-29. Only 27% of women support this view.
- Every 10th man believes that the best age to say “I do” is after 30. Only 3% of women want to postpone nuptials until that time.
On average, females believe that the ideal age to commit is 23. Men’s averages came to 25 years old. (Average for both genders: 24.)
It should be noted that in 2004 the average age of marriage, as indicated by both genders, was 23.
Cohabitation Before Marriage
People were also asked their opinion about couples living together before a wedding (de-facto marriages).
- Half of respondents approved of such unions and believe that civil marriages allow couples to test their feelings.
- Further 15% indicated that they fully support such unions, as there is no need to formalize a relationship in order to live happily.
- 31% believe that civil unions are unacceptable. The share of such responses was higher among people over 60 and the ones living in the Southern and Caucasus regions.
Children in Families
Russian women and men were asked how many children should be in a family, if a couple can afford them. The 2015 results are similar to the ones from 2004.
- 43% believe that families should have 2 children (no change).
- 34% see a family as having 3 children in 2015, compared to 35% in 2004.
- 13% think a family should have 4 children or more (10% in 2004).
- Fewer people think 1 child is enough: 9% (7% in 2004).
The results are so alike that the differences could be attributed to a statistical glitch, Romir researchers state.
The most significant social changes are reflected in sharing of homemaking duties.
- Fewer men are taking care of the household than before: only 8% in 2015 as compared to 13% in 2004.
- Only 1/3 of families follows the traditional model where the wife is the only one responsible for homemaking tasks: 33% in 2015 against 49% in 2004.
- Consequently, nearly half of Russian families now share responsibilities between husbands and wives: 43% in 2015 (compared to 24% in 2004).
- Just like in 2004, in 7% of households it is the grandparents that take care of home duties in 2015.
It’s worth noting that because Russians marry early, young families often live together with the wife’s or husband’s parents. This explains why in many households grandparents continue to carry the load of homemaking: It is their house, after all.
The scientists of Romir conclude that in general the family dynamics in Russia remained the same as 10 years ago.
The trend for sharing of responsibilities in families is most likely due to the fact that more Russian women are now working full time. It could be also that men now have more spare time to help wives around the house.
1500 people aged from 18 to 60 and older were interviewed in July 2015. The selection included residents of cities and regional towns from all federal regions.