The World Family Map 2017: Mapping Family Change and Child Well-being Outcomes

Social Trends Institute

STI is pleased to support important research into family trends around the globe.

The World Family Map 2017: Mapping Family Change and Child Well-being Outcomes

W. Bradford Wilcox and Laurie DeRose. World Family Map 2017: Mapping Family Change and Child Well-being Outcomes, Social Trends Institute, 2017, 62 pp.

This year’s principle essay focuses on the relative stability or instability of children’s lives associated with the marital status of their parents. Its title “The Cohabitation-Go-Round: Cohabitation and Family Inequality across the Globe,” makes reference to a well-known earlier work by Andrew Cherlin, The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today.

The report uses the latest data for 49 countries on 16 indicators of family well-being in four major areas:

  • Family Structure: Family structure considers with whom a child lives, including parents and other family members, and the relationships between them.Graphs chart Living arrangements; marriage and cohabitation; total fertility rate; and births outside marriage.
  • Family Socioeconomics: The economic conditions people experience in childhood can have great influence on their development. The indicators in this section include poverty, undernourishment, parental education and employment, and public benefits for families. Graphs exhibit data on absolute poverty; relative poverty; undernourishment; parental education; parental employment; and public spending on family benefits.
  • Family Process: Family processes describe how families operate: how family members interact with one another, how often they spend time together, and whether they are satisfied with their family lives. These processes can influence the lives of individual family members, for better or for worse. Charts are presented on family satisfaction and views on household income; parental involvement; and family meals.
  • Family Culture: The family culture indicators monitor national attitudes and values on family issues. They describe the cultural climate in which children grow up. This section graphs attitudes toward voluntary single-motherhood; attitudes about the need for two parents; support for working mothers; and family trust.

The inaugural edition of the World Family Map provided indicators of family well-being worldwide and an essay focusing on family living arrangements and education outcomes. The 2014 edition provided updated indicators and a new essay focusing on union stability and early childhood health in developing countries, as well as a brief analysis of psychological distress among 9- to 16-year-olds in the European Union, in a supplement titled “Family Structure Across Europe and Children’s Psychological Health.”

In 2015 edition, the focus was placed on work-family arrangements in a lead essay entitled “No One Best Way: Work, Family and Happiness the World Over.” The 2015 report additionally included a supplement reviewing the division of paid and domestic work among Peruvian couples.

Download the Report in English and in Spanish.