Socio-demographic, Economic and Health Characteristics of Female-Headed Jordanian Households: An Exploratory Descriptive Study

  •  Husein Mohammad Alothman    
  •  Mohammed Abdel Karim Al-Hourani    


This study aimed to identify the social, economic and health characteristics of Jordanian families headed by females and the differences in these characteristics according to the gender of the head of the household. To achieve this aim, the study utilized data available from the multipurpose family survey conducted by the Department of Statistics in 2003. The survey targeted a national sample using cluster stratified sampling. The number of completed interviews reached 9,711 families. Comparative method was also used to identify the differences between Jordanian families according to the gender of the head of the household.

The study revealed that a number of traditional factors determine whether a family would be headed by a female such as the death of the spouse, especially as a result of the age gap between the husband and wife, economic migration of the husband, and divorce. In addition, the study showed that the social and economic characteristics of Jordanian families were largely homogenous regardless of the gender of the head of the family especially concerning such issues as poverty, family income, and access to health insurance. On the other hand, there were differences in size and the level of education of the head of the family, largely determined by place of residence, governorate of residence and age among those households and among the ones headed by females. The significance of the study stems from the fact that it is a national study that will open new horizons for more in-depth future studies.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.