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Study predicts significant decline in family size worldwide, alters kinship dynamics

Summarised by Centrist 

A recent study by the Max Planck Society suggests that families across the globe will undergo substantial transformations in the near future. The research projects a steep decrease of more than 35% in the number of relatives an individual will have, accompanied by significant changes in family structures. The study forecasts a decline in the number of cousins, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren, while great-grandparents and grandparents are expected to increase. 

For instance, in 1950, a 65-year-old woman had an average of 41 living relatives, but by 2095, a woman of the same age is predicted to have only 25 living relatives.

Smaller and older family networks may impact the availability of informal care, necessitating investment in social support systems. The study puts front and centre the impending challenges that policymakers worldwide must address in response to these seismic shifts in family dynamics.

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