Formal Demography of Kinship: A Matrix Approach

Hal Caswell , University of Amsterdam

An individual is surrounded by a network of kin (children, parents, siblings, etc.) that develops with the age of the individual. The kinship network reflects the schedules of fertility and mortality by which kin are produced and removed. The challenge to a formal demography of kinship is to calculate the properties of the kinship network from its demographic determinants. To do so, I introduce a new model framework that provides the complete age structure, of any kin, of a focal individual of any age. The model describes the kinship network by a system of coupled, linear, non-autonomous matrix population models that are easily implemented. From the age distribution, other kinship properties are easily calculated (mean and variance of age, total numbers, dependency measures, health status, coresidence, and more). Extensions permit calculation of deceased kin and application to multistate models. The analysis requires only a mortality and fertility schedule.

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 Presented in Session 101. Family Demography: Methods and Projections