Household size and composition in the developing world

Household size and composition in the developing world

What are the dimensions of household size in the developing world?

This study uses data from recent household surveys in 43 developing countries to describe the main dimensions of household size and composition in the developing world.

The study finds that:

  • average household size varies only modestly among regions, ranging from 5.6 in the Near East/North Africa to 4.8 in Latin America
  • household size is found to be positively associated with the level of fertility and the mean age at marriage, and inversely associated with the level of marital disruption
  • an analysis of trends and differentials in household size suggests that convergence to smaller and predominantly nuclear households is proceeding slowly in contemporary developing countries

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