Families worldwide are getting smaller in size and people are delaying having children. The birth rate hit a record low in 2019 and has been on a decline since 2007. Traditionally, families included various members of the family living under the same roof. This was known as joint families.
This trend started changing in the 80s and 90s and gave rise to nuclear families which consisted of members of one family only. This included the parents living with their children sometimes along with the grandparents of the children. These families are now evolving to include even fewer members of families. This is because families try to adapt to the changing environment. The structure of the families keeps changing over time and will continue to change in the future as well.
There are many factors that affect the structure of families and the birth rate of people these days. The article given below will cover all the details regarding the modern family size chart, the factors affecting them, and the difference between modern families and traditional families.
Modern Family Size Chart
Modern Family Size Chart depicts the factors affecting modern family sizes such as the birth rate and fertility rate among the people who want to start their family. These charts are important as they allow the researchers to know about the trends of the families across different years.
These charts are prepared by professionals hired by the government or by independent professionals trying to propose theorems and identify patterns. This allows them to identify the causes which can lead to drastic changes in the family patterns. The major cause of changes in the family patterns is due to financial concerns of couples due to increased inflation after the COVID-19 era.
Hence people are choosing to have fewer children and the average woman wants to have fewer biological children. The birth rates never fully recover after inflation as parents get used to having fewer children around the house. This also allows them to have quality time with their spouse and provide proper attention to their existing children.
Difference Between Modern Family and Traditional Family
Modern family has evolved from the traditional structure over centuries. There are many differences in the modern family structure and the traditional family structure which are given below.
- Replacement of joint family- Single family has replaced the joint families which prevailed in previous times. This is because people now prefer to have their privacy in their homes. Joint families consisted of grandparents, parents, their brothers, and widow sisters all living under the same roof along with their children. They acted like a social group and sometimes the number of members exceeded 100. Now these families have been replaced by nuclear families where the parents live with their children. The grown-up children tend to separate themselves from their parents after their marriage and they start their own families.
- Change in the position of women- Over time the position of women has also changed and they become more independent socially and financially. Traditionally, they occupied a very low position in the families but now they have become active participants in all the decisions of the families and they have also started earning a significant portion of income. They enjoy equal rights as their husbands and they can even divorce their husbands if they mistreat them.
- Loss of religious control- Traditional families believed in many rituals and rites for the prosperity of their families. Modern families are more secular in that respect and they do not indulge in such rites and rituals. Marriage has also become a civil contract instead of a religious sacrament.
- Modern family is not a social unit- Modern families have lost their status as a social unit as there are only four to five members in a family which belong to only two generations. This has made them individualistic rather than a social unit. Traditional families consisted of more than 3 generations of a single-family living under the same roof. All the physical and social needs of the members were fulfilled in their homes hence they did not need to associate with any external agents. This is not the case for modern families as they need to associate with external agents in order to fulfill their social needs.
- Loss of unessential functions- Many of the unessential functions of the joint family have been abandoned by the nuclear families such as religious education, education, economic functions, and protective functions. These functions are now performed by the State, the Church, the schools, and the industries.
Factors Affecting Modern Family
Sociologists have determined a few factors which may influence the growing trends of small family sizes. These factors have been listed below.
- Contraception- Many people have started relying on contraceptives to prevent the spread of various STDs and to prevent unwanted pregnancies. These contraceptives are now used frequently in order to delay pregnancies.
- Late marriages- People are getting married at older ages as they are waiting for the right time to get married and start a family. This trend is mainly due to the fact that people want to be sure that they have got a good job and can financially support their families before they start one.
- In vitro fertilization- This technique and many others similar to this one are now available which are allowing people to have children at older ages. This has also allowed people to wait for the right time before they start their own family.
- Fewer biological children- Recent trends have shown that couples prefer other modes of having children too. This has resulted in a decline in the birth rate.
- Smaller family size- The family size has now shrunk to three instead of the previous four. This may be due to the recent financial crisis and the lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This prevented people from working and they had to utilize their savings in order to survive.
- Decreased fertility rates- Fertility rates have also decreased in both men and women. This may be due to the increased usage of drugs such as tobacco and alcohol which may lead to disorders of the reproductive system and can even decrease the fertility of both men and women. The fertility rate has been on a constant decline in the last decade.
FAQs Related to Modern Family Size Chart
Traditional families consisted of members of different generations living under the same roof such as the grandparents, parents, their brothers and widow sisters, and their children. Modern families only consist of the parents and the children and the children also separate when they grow up and get married to start their own families.
There are many factors that have influenced the decrease in the size of modern families such as a decrease in fertility, a decrease in birth rate, and the late marriage ages of couples. Couples prefer to get married when they think that they are ready to support the financial needs of their families and children.
The modern family structure is expected to get smaller if the environmental conditions such as inflation do not improve with time. This is because the couples do not feel that they will be able to support the needs of their families and their children in the ongoing financial crisis.