China Population and Development Studies

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 401–411 | Cite as

Changes in family structure in China: the impact of residence patterns and demographic factors

  • Shenghui YangEmail author
  • Wei Chen
Original Article


Based on census data from China, this paper uses SOCSIM microscopic simulation method to decompose the key factors of family transition into demographic and residence pattern factors. The former are further broken down into demographic inertia, fertility, mortality and marriage rate. The results indicate that the current demographic changes are relatively small and, thus, the small fluctuations caused by demographic changes contribute much less than residence pattern to the family transition. Among the demographic factors, demographic inertia and fertility have a greater effect on family transition and the impacts caused by fertility and marriage rate are consistent with the direction of the overall influence of demographic factors: increasing the proportion of single-person households, one-generation households, and two-generation households, and decreasing the proportion of three-generation or more households. In contrast, the effect of mortality rate was opposite to that of fertility rate, which increased the proportion of populations living in single-person, one-generation, and two-generation households, but the decreased the proportion of the population living in three-generation or more households.


Family transition SOCSIM microscopic simulation Demographic factors Residence pattern factors 


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Copyright information

© China Population and Development Research 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.China Population and Development Research CenterBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Sociology and Population StudiesRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina

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