Population & Ethnic Groups

The Family

China has 332.97 million families, with 3.2 people per urban household, and 4.3 people per rural household on average. In general, a Chinese family is composed of a couple and their children, but big families with three or more generations can also be found in China. Along with the pursuit of personal freedom, the trend of forming small families with only directly related members is now prevalent.

In the past, each Chinese family had a “head,” who had absolute authority at home, and had the final say in family affairs. But now in most Chinese families, the husband and wife, or a couple with other family members, work out together the household plans, and decide family affairs through consultation. Moreover, family members share the housework, making the division of labor at home more reasonable; and the husband and wife support each other’s work.

The Chinese people have the tradition of respecting the old and loving the young. Though many young couples do not live with their parents, they maintain close contact with them. Grown-up children have the duty to support and help their parents. The Chinese people attach great importance to relations between family members and relatives, and cherish their parents, children, brothers and sisters, uncles, aunts and other relatives.

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Last updated: 2000-07-13.