Country as a whole switching over to nuclear families

Even as the country as a whole has been switching over to the nuclear family system, several States in north India seem to be rather reluctant to follow the trend wholeheartedly.

A detailed analysis of the Census 2011 data released on Tuesday shows that 27 per cent of the households in Uttar Pradesh still had two or more married couples living together — far more than the national average of 18 per cent for such families.

Uttar Pradesh was followed by Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.

In Rajasthan, 25 per cent of the households were found to be joint families, while in Haryana the corresponding figure was 24.6 per cent, Punjab 23.9 per cent, Gujarat 22.9 per cent, Bihar and Jharkhand 20.9 per cent and Himachal Pradesh 20 per cent.

In contrast, in south India, in Andhra Pradesh only 10.7 per cent of the households were joint families, in Tamil Nadu 11.2 per cent, in Pondicherry 11.4 per cent, in Karnataka 16.2 per cent and Kerala 16.6 per cent.

In West Bengal 15.5 per cent of the households were joint families, in Maharashtra 17.6 per cent, in Madhya Pradesh 17.7 per cent, in Odisha 12.32 per cent and in Goa 12.6 per cent.

There are still some pockets in north India where households have five married couples or more living together. The data shows that one was more likely to come across such households in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan: almost one per cent of the households in Uttar Pradesh had households with more than five married couples — 0.7 per cent to be precise. The corresponding figures for Bihar and Rajasthan were 0.5 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.

Family size

The census has also thrown up some interesting data regarding the size of households. Though the average family size is normally taken to be four to five, it has been found that one was more likely to come across a household with six to eight members than those with four members or those with five members.

As many as 24.9 per cent of all households in the country had a size of six to eight members as against 22.7 per cent with four members and 18.8 per cent with five members.

In contrast, there were only 13.7 per cent households with three members, 9.7 per cent with two members and 3.7 per cent with a single member.

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