In charts: Why most Indian men live with their parents - ALL Jobs News

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Saturday, 5 September 2020

In charts: Why most Indian men live with their parents

In East Asia, extended families were dissolved by rapid economic development. Despite rapid economic growth since the 1980s, India has seen little change in the prevalence of nuclear families. Why is this? The answer lies in the kind of economic development India has experienced.

Indians tend to work for small family-owned businesses. This pattern of structural transformation and occupational diversification has strengthened multigenerational households.

By caring for each other, extended families provide crucial support. India is not unusual, given its level of income. Intergenerational co-residence remains common in many developing countries.

Unlike East Asia, Indian extended families are just as common in cities and villages. Urban couples are no more likely to live alone. Educational expansion is not driving change either. Less than 50% of male graduates form independent households – as detailed by Etienne Breton.

Economic factors

Regular employment remains exceptional, across South Asia. Lacking job security or social insurance, families may prefer to pool resources and create their own safety net. Strong kinship ties endure partly because they provide consumption-smoothing insurance.

So we might expect intergenerational co-residence to wane with economic development – as suggested by this graph by Dante Sanchez Torres. India is not unusual for its level of income.

So is India likely to follow the Western model of nuclear families? Possibly, but...

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