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WIFENUM (V505)
Number of other wives

Codes and Frequencies



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Description

For women who were currently married or living with a man, WIFENUM (V505) reports the number of other wives (or co-resident partners) their husband/partner had. Question wording varied across samples. See Comparability.

Comparability — Index

GENERAL
Liberia
Pakistan
Senegal

Comparability

Along with universe differences, the question wording for WIFENUM (V505) varied across Phases of the DHS and across samples. One potentially important difference was whether the questions used the term "wife" only, or also included "partners." Another important difference was whether the questions specified that the man was living with the other women who were not formally called wives.

Sometimes the question asked how many wives other than the respondent the husband had, while other times the question asked how many wives, including the respondent, the husband had. This different wording for reporting the number of wives does not reduce comparability, since the code 0 was consistently applied when there were no wives other than the respondent. However, some samples applied a topcode of 5 or 6, so users may wish to recode higher values into a "5+" category when working with multiple samples.

Ignoring slight differences in exact question wording, the phrasing of questions for WIFENUM falls into 3 broad groups. (1) Most commonly, the questions asked only about "other wives." (2) Occasionally, the questions referred to wives or partners, without specifying that the partners must live with the man. (3) In the third pattern, the questions asked whether the woman's husband/partner had other wives or "does he live with women [or partners] other than his wives as if married." Consult the Survey Text tab to determine which pattern holds for samples of interest.

Users should be especially cautious about making inferences about change over time in marriage patterns within a country. The narrower term "wives" was generally used in earlier Phases of the DHS, while co-resident partners were more commonly mentioned as well in later Phases of the DHS, in line with the changing standard questionnaire text described below.

Comparability - Standard DHS

For DHS Phases I-IV, the question wording for WIFENUM (V505) was the following:

Does your husband have any other wives besides yourself? How many other wives does he have?

For DHS Phase V forward, the question wording for WIFENUM was:

Does your husband have other wives, or does he live with other women as if married? Including yourself, in total, how many wives or partners does your husband live with now as if married?

Comparability — Liberia [top]

The 1986 Liberia survey asks whether the respondent's husband has any other wives, but it does not ask how many other wives he has. For this reason, all positive responses are coded as "Has other wives, don't know number" (code "96"). The 2007 and 2013 Liberia surveys do not share this comparability problem.

Comparability — Pakistan [top]

The 2006 Pakistan survey asks whether the respondent's husband has any other wives, but it does not ask how many other wives he has. For this reason, all positive responses are coded as "Has other wives, don't know number" (code "96"). The 1991, 2012, and 2017 Pakistan surveys do not share this comparability problem.

Comparability — Senegal [top]

The 1997 Senegal survey asks whether the respondent's husband has any other wives, but it does not ask how many other wives he has. For this reason, all positive responses are coded as "Has other wives, don't know number" (code "96"). The 1986, 1992, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 Senegal surveys do not share this comparability problem.

Universe

  • Afghanistan 2015: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Angola 2015: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Benin 1996: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Benin 2001: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Benin 2006: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Benin 2011: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Benin 2017: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Burkina Faso 1993: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Burkina Faso 1998: Women age 15-49 who are currently married (with marriage consummated) or living with a man.
  • Burkina Faso 2003: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Burkina Faso 2010: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Burundi 1987: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Burundi 2010: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Burundi 2016: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Cameroon 1991: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Cameroon 1998: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Cameroon 2004: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Cameroon 2011: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Chad 1996: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Chad 2004: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Chad 2014: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Congo (Democratic Republic) 2007: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Congo (Democratic Republic) 2013: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Cote d'Ivoire 1994: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Cote d'Ivoire 1998: Women age 15-49 who are currently married (with marriage consummated) or living with a man.
  • Cote d'Ivoire 2011: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Egypt 2014: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • Ethiopia 2000: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Ethiopia 2005: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Ethiopia 2011: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Ethiopia 2016: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Ghana 1988: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Ghana 1993: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Ghana 1998: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Ghana 2003: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Ghana 2008: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Ghana 2014: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Guinea 1999: Women age 15-49 who are currently married (with marriage consummated) or living with a man.
  • Guinea 2005: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Guinea 2012: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Guinea 2018: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • India 2015: Women age 15-49 who are currently married (excludes gauna not performed).
  • Jordan 1997: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Jordan 2002: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Jordan 2007: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Jordan 2009: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Jordan 2012: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Jordan 2017: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Kenya 1989: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Kenya 1993: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Kenya 1998: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Kenya 2003: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Kenya 2008: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Kenya 2014: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man, in households selected for the long questionnaire.
  • Lesotho 2014: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Liberia 1986: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Liberia 2007: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Liberia 2013: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Madagascar 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Madagascar 1997: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Madagascar 2003: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Madagascar 2008: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Malawi 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Malawi 2000: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Malawi 2004: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Malawi 2010: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Malawi 2016: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Mali 1987: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Mali 1995: Women age 15-49 who are currently married (with marriage consummated) or living with a man.
  • Mali 2001: Women age 15-49 who are currently married (with marriage consummated) or living with a man.
  • Mali 2006: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Mali 2012: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Mali 2018: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Morocco 1987: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Morocco 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Morocco 2003: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Mozambique 1997: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Mozambique 2003: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Mozambique 2011: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Myanmar 2015: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Namibia 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Namibia 2000: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Namibia 2006: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Namibia 2013: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Nepal 1996: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Nepal 2001: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Nepal 2006: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Nepal 2011: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Nepal 2016: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Niger 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Niger 1998: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Niger 2006: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Niger 2012: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Nigeria 1990: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Nigeria 1999: Women age 10-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Nigeria 2003: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Nigeria 2008: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Nigeria 2013: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Nigeria 2018: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Pakistan 1991: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Pakistan 2006: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Pakistan 2012: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Pakistan 2017: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Rwanda 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Rwanda 2000: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Rwanda 2005: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Rwanda 2010: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Rwanda 2014: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Senegal 1986: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Senegal 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Senegal 1997: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Senegal 2005: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Senegal 2010: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Senegal 2012: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Senegal 2014: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Senegal 2015: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Senegal 2016: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Senegal 2017: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • South Africa 1998: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • South Africa 2016: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Sudan 1989: Ever-married women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Tanzania 1991: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Tanzania 1996: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Tanzania 2004: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Tanzania 2010: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Tanzania 2015: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Uganda 1988: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Uganda 1995: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Uganda 2001: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Uganda 2006: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Uganda 2011: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Uganda 2016: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Yemen 1991: Ever-married women age 15-54 who are currently married or separated.
  • Yemen 2013: Women age 15-49 who are currently married.
  • Zambia 1992: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Zambia 1996: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Zambia 2001: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Zambia 2007: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Zambia 2013: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Zambia 2018: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Zimbabwe 1994: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Zimbabwe 1999: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Zimbabwe 2005: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Zimbabwe 2010: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Zimbabwe 2015: Women age 15-49 who are currently married or living with a man.
  • Afghanistan: 2015-C, 2015-W, 2015-B
  • Angola: 2015-W, 2015-C, 2015-B
  • Benin: 1996-W, 1996-C, 1996-B, 2001-W, 2001-C, 2001-B, 2006-W, 2006-C, 2006-B, 2011-W, 2011-C, 2011-B, 2017-W, 2017-C, 2017-B
  • Burkina Faso: 1993-W, 1993-C, 1993-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-B, 2010-W, 2010-C, 2010-B
  • Burundi: 1987-C, 1987-B, 1987-W, 2010-C, 2010-B, 2010-W, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B
  • Cameroon: 1991-W, 1991-C, 1991-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B, 2004-W, 2004-C, 2004-B, 2011-W, 2011-C, 2011-B
  • Chad: 1996-W, 1996-B, 1996-C, 2004-W, 2004-B, 2004-C, 2014-W, 2014-C, 2014-B
  • Congo (Democratic Republic): 2007-C, 2007-B, 2007-W, 2013-W, 2013-C, 2013-B
  • Cote d'Ivoire: 1994-W, 1994-C, 1994-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B, 2011-W, 2011-C, 2011-B
  • Egypt: 2014-W, 2014-C, 2014-B
  • Ethiopia: 2000-W, 2000-C, 2000-B, 2005-W, 2005-C, 2005-B, 2011-W, 2011-C, 2011-B, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B
  • Ghana: 1988-W, 1988-C, 1988-B, 1993-W, 1993-C, 1993-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-B, 2008-W, 2008-C, 2008-B, 2014-W, 2014-C, 2014-B
  • Guinea: 1999-W, 1999-C, 1999-B, 2005-W, 2005-C, 2005-B, 2012-W, 2012-C, 2012-B, 2018-C, 2018-B, 2018-W
  • India: 2015-W, 2015-C, 2015-B
  • Jordan: 1997-W, 1997-C, 1997-B, 2002-W, 2002-C, 2002-B, 2007-W, 2007-C, 2007-B, 2009-W, 2009-C, 2009-B, 2012-W, 2012-C, 2012-B, 2017-W, 2017-C, 2017-B
  • Kenya: 1989-W, 1989-C, 1989-B, 1993-W, 1993-C, 1993-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-B, 2008-W, 2008-C, 2008-B, 2014-W, 2014-C, 2014-B
  • Lesotho: 2014-W, 2014-C, 2014-B
  • Liberia: 1986-W, 1986-C, 1986-B, 2007-W, 2007-C, 2007-B, 2013-W, 2013-C, 2013-B
  • Madagascar: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 1997-W, 1997-C, 1997-B, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-B, 2008-W, 2008-C, 2008-B
  • Malawi: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 2000-W, 2000-C, 2000-B, 2004-W, 2004-C, 2004-B, 2010-W, 2010-C, 2010-B, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B
  • Mali: 1987-W, 1987-C, 1987-B, 1995-W, 1995-C, 1995-B, 2001-W, 2001-C, 2001-B, 2006-W, 2006-C, 2006-B, 2012-W, 2012-C, 2012-B, 2018-C, 2018-B, 2018-W
  • Morocco: 1987-W, 1987-C, 1987-B, 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-B
  • Mozambique: 1997-W, 1997-C, 1997-B, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-B, 2011-W, 2011-C, 2011-B
  • Myanmar: 2015-C, 2015-W, 2015-B
  • Namibia: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 2000-W, 2000-C, 2000-B, 2006-W, 2006-C, 2006-B, 2013-W, 2013-C, 2013-B
  • Nepal: 1996-W, 1996-C, 1996-B, 2001-W, 2001-C, 2001-B, 2006-W, 2006-C, 2006-B, 2011-W, 2011-C, 2011-B, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B
  • Niger: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 1998-B, 2006-W, 2006-C, 2006-B, 2012-W, 2012-C, 2012-B
  • Nigeria: 1990-W, 1990-C, 1990-B, 1999-W, 1999-C, 1999-B, 2003-W, 2003-C, 2003-B, 2008-W, 2008-C, 2008-B, 2013-W, 2013-C, 2013-B, 2018-C, 2018-B, 2018-W
  • Pakistan: 1991-W, 1991-C, 1991-B, 2006-W, 2006-C, 2006-B, 2012-W, 2012-C, 2012-B, 2017-W, 2017-C, 2017-B
  • Rwanda: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 2000-W, 2000-C, 2000-B, 2005-B, 2005-W, 2005-C, 2010-B, 2010-W, 2010-C, 2014-W, 2014-C, 2014-B
  • Senegal: 1986-B, 1986-W, 1986-C, 1992-B, 1992-W, 1992-C, 1997-B, 1997-W, 1997-C, 2005-B, 2005-W, 2005-C, 2010-B, 2010-W, 2010-C, 2012-B, 2012-W, 2012-C, 2014-B, 2014-W, 2014-C, 2015-W, 2015-C, 2015-B, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B, 2017-W, 2017-C, 2017-B
  • South Africa: 1998-B, 1998-W, 1998-C, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B
  • Sudan: 1989-B, 1989-W, 1989-C
  • Tanzania: 1991-B, 1991-W, 1991-C, 1996-B, 1996-W, 1996-C, 2004-B, 2004-W, 2004-C, 2010-B, 2010-W, 2010-C, 2015-W, 2015-C, 2015-B
  • Uganda: 1988-B, 1988-W, 1988-C, 1995-B, 1995-W, 1995-C, 2001-B, 2001-W, 2001-C, 2006-B, 2006-W, 2006-C, 2011-B, 2011-W, 2011-C, 2016-W, 2016-C, 2016-B
  • Yemen: 1991-B, 1991-W, 1991-C, 2013-B, 2013-W, 2013-C
  • Zambia: 1992-B, 1992-W, 1992-C, 1996-B, 1996-W, 1996-C, 2001-B, 2001-W, 2001-C, 2007-B, 2007-W, 2007-C, 2013-B, 2013-W, 2013-C, 2018-W, 2018-C, 2018-B
  • Zimbabwe: 1994-B, 1994-W, 1994-C, 1999-B, 1999-W, 1999-C, 2005-B, 2005-W, 2005-C, 2010-B, 2010-W, 2010-C, 2015-W, 2015-C, 2015-B