Family structure

Topic Selected: Families and Parenting

General Article icon Type: General Article

Although two-parent families are becoming less common in many parts of the world, they still constitute a majority of families around the globe. Children under age 18 are more likely to live in two-parent families than in other family forms in Asia and the Middle East, compared with other regions of the world. Children are more likely to live with one or no parent in the Americas, Europe, Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions.

Extended families (which include parent(s) and kin from outside the nuclear family) also appear to be common in Asia the Middle East, South America and Sub-Saharan Africa, but not in other regions of the world.

Marriage rates are declining in many regions. Adults are most likely to be married in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and are least likely to be married in South America, with Europe, North America and Oceania falling in between. Cohabitation (living together without marriage) is more common among couples in Europe, Nort

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