Study: Israel, Jordan lead world in child well-being, family stability
92 percent of Israeli children live in two-parent homes, 7 percent live in one-parent homes and 0 percent live in homes without parents; South Africa lies at other end of scale.
Fully 92 percent of Israeli children live in two-parent homes – the second highest rate in the world – according to the 2014 World Family Map, a study that maps family change and child well-being outcomes.
In addition, the study found that only 7 percent of Israeli children (defined as people under the age of 18 who don't have their own children) live in single-parent homes and a negligible number of Israeli children (a minute 0 percent) live in homes without parents.
At the other end of the scale is South Africa, where 20 percent of children live without parents, 43 percent live in single-parent homes and only 36 percent live in homes with two parents.
The only country to score higher than Israel is Jordan, where 94 percent of children live in two-parent homes. But 1 percent of Jordanian children live without any parents.
Japan and New Zealand are the only other countries in which 0 percent of children live in homes without parents.
In the United States, according to the study, 69 percent of children live in two-parent homes, 27 percent in one-parent homes and 4 percent live in homes without parents.
The 2014 World Family Map was commissioned by Child Trends, described as a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that studies children at every stage of development.
It tracks 16 indicators covering family well-being in four areas – family structure, family socioeconomics, family process, and family culture – across 49 countries, representing a majority of the world’s population.
Among the report's key finding are:
Although two-parent families are becoming less common in many parts of the world, they still constitute a majority of families around the globe. Children are particularly likely to live in two-parent families in Asia and the Middle East, compared with other regions of the world. Children are more likely to live with one or no parent in the Americas, Europe, Oceania, and sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions.
Extended families (which include parent(s) and kin from outside the nuclear family) also appear to be common in Asia, the Middle East, Central/South America, and sub-Saharan Africa, but not other regions of the world.
Marriage rates are declining in many regions. Adults are most likely to be married in Asia and the Middle East, and are least likely to be married in Central/South America, with Africa, Europe, North America, and Oceania falling in between. Cohabitation (living together without marriage) is more common among couples in Europe, North America, Oceania, and—especially—in Central/South America.
Childbearing rates are declining worldwide. The highest fertility rates are in sub-Saharan Africa. A woman gives birth to an average of 6.1 children in Uganda. Moderate rates of fertility are found in the Middle East, and levels of fertility that are sufficient to replace a country’s population in the next generation (about 2.1) are found in the Americas and Oceania. Below replacement-level fertility is found in East Asia and Europe.
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