Family Complexity and Diversity Across the World

Andres Castro , University of Pennsylvania
Juan Garcia Roman, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED), Universitat de Barcelona
Albert Esteve-Palos, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED), Universitat de Barcelona

Across the world, families adopt multiple forms due to context-dependent interactions between social norms and individual behavior regarding union formation (dissolution), reproduction and co-residence. However, we lack global cross-national analyses about the family based on comparable indicators. Much of the classical theorizing on global family change occurred without the benefit of empirical data. It is only in the last few years that researchers have gained access to large-scale representative data sets. In this paper, we leverage IPUMS-I, DHS and EU-LFS micro-data to analyze for the first-time variations in family forms in 110 countries over the last four decades. We summarize trends in 12 key family indicators concerning union formation, household size and complexity and the position of women within households. Results show quite distinct patterns both within and across continental regions and a mixture of common trends and persistent singularities.

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 Presented in Session 154. Family Complexity and Diversity