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Belgian nuclear family on decline

Published on 12/12/2005

12 December 2005

BRUSSELS – Families in Belgium have become more complex, according to a study by two universities.

While families were traditional and nuclear until the mid-60s, Belgian families are now a juxtaposition of a variety of types: co-parenting, single-parenting, bi-parenting and multi-parenting.

A couple who is together but lives apart is another recent phenomenon.

On average, families have 1.6 children. Large families can be found in both poor and rich communities.

The study was conducted in November by Antwerp and Liège universities, with the support of Belgian families minister Gisèle Mandaila.

However, the changing nature of families appears not to be harming children, according to researchers.

“If a couple has become more unstable, the child remains the most important factor,” said Marie Thérèse Casman of Liège University.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news