On the occasion of Mother’s Day, the National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI) have released a study showing that Omani women are marrying and having children later in life, with an increasing number of Omani women placing a greater emphasis on completing higher education and pursuing career options in the private and public sectors. The number of Omani marriages recorded over the 2009 to 2012 period grew by nearly 20%, with 24,772 marriages recorded in 2009 versus the 2012 total of 29,351.
According to the NCSI figure, the number of registered births to Omani women increased by 13.1% between 2009 and 2012, with the total number Omani newborns growing from 59,461 in 2009 to a 2012 total of 67,230. Between 2009 and 2012, and with 2013 numbers being finalized, the number of Omani women having children under the age of 25 has decreased, while the birthrate for Omani women over 25 has increased markedly over the same period. In 2009, the number of registered births to Omani women aged 15 to 19 stood at 1,799, while in 2012 this figure had dropped to 1,347. For Omani women in the 20 to 24 age bracket, the number of births decreased from 14,192 in 2009 to 13,138 in 2012.
During the same period, there has been a significant growth in the number of Omani women giving birth from the age of 25 upwards, with women in the 25 to 29 age bracket registering 20,214 births in 2009 against the 2012 total of 23,169, while women in the 30 to 34 age bracket registered 14,363 newborns in 2009 versus the 2012 total of 17,589. Within the 35 to 39 age bracket, the number of registered births increased by 40%, with 6,452 births registered in 2009 against the 2012 total of 9,013, while in the 40 to 44 age bracket births grew by 25%, going from 2,049 in 2009 to 2,571 in 2012.
The study also reveals a growing trend amongst young Omani women to pursue higher levels of education. According to the NCSI study, the number of Omani females enrolled in private schools has almost doubled since the 08/09 school year, with the total number of Omani females enrolled in Private Schools rising to 32,434 in 12/13 school year, against the 08/09 total of 17,218. During the same period, the number of Omani females enrolled in higher educational institutions rose by 20%, with 51,048 Omani females enrolled in the 11/12 school year against the 07/08 total of 41,553.