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Interpretation of the 2014 Chinese Family Development Report

Source:en.nhfpc.gov.cn

Updated: 2014-12-01

Q: Why was the 2014 Chinese Family Development Report issued?

A: Family is the most basic social unit and also an important driving force behind social development. Family development not only boosts physical and mental development and self-realization of each family member, but also plays an important role in realizing long-term sustainable development of economy, society and population. With China's economic development and social transformation, Chinese families are experiencing profound changes. The report aims to comprehensively sort out the characteristics and trends in Chinese families, carry out in-depth analysis of various factors affecting family development, and study and put forward policy thinking and direction for Chinese family development in the future.

Q: Please briefly introduce the main content and structure of the report.

A: The report is the first study report issued by the government to fully display Chinese family development. The report consists of 10 chapters, covering the characteristics and trends in Chinese family development, the number and size of Chinese households, family type, structure, relationship and function. It summarizes Chinese family development and changes under the background of population policy, urbanization and an aging population. It analyzed various factors affecting family development and put forward policy thoughts and directions for future Chinese family development.

Q: What are the major changes in the Chinese family?

A: Chinese family development carries distinct characteristics. First, there are 430 million households, the most in the world. Second, families are increasingly downsizing, with 3.02 members on average. Third, family types are becoming more diversified. The proportion of nuclear families continues to decline; more old people are living alone; and single parent, DINK and trans-generation families are growing rapidly. Migrant population family migration has become increasingly evident, and a great number of migrant and left-behind families have emerged. Fourth, family planning households are the majority. It’s estimated that the number of China's family planning households has reached about 300 million at the moment, accounting for 70 percent of all households across the country. Fifth, new family relationships featuring democracy and equality have been established in more and more families. Sixth, family priorities have shifted to emotion, consumption, care, safety and entertainment, with function in finance being contracted . Rapidly aging population development brings challenges to elderly care at home, and the family is increasingly dependent on external support.

Q: What are the main challenges facing Chinese families?

A: First, migrant and left-behind families face particular difficulties. Migrant families have realistic difficulties in social integration and child education. Left-behind families also suffer problems in child upbringing and care, elderly care and spousal relationships. Second, rapid aging development puts pressure on family support for the elderly. At present, China has more than 88 million households with members over 65 years old, accounting for 20 percent of all households nationwide. With the downsizing family scale, families face pressure in supporting the elderly, especially left-behind families and old people who live alone. Third, the family development support policy still leaves something to be desired. At present, we haven’t established a long-term family policy and an institutional arrangement with the family as the basic unit.

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Link: China's Central Government / World Health Organization / United Nations Population Fund / UNICEF in China

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