Colloquium Steven Ruggles (Director, IPUMS Center for Data Integration. University of Minnesota).- Family Systems, Demographic Change, and Residence with Kin

Organitza: Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics

Lloc: Semipresencial

Hora: 10:00 - 11:00


Presencial: Sala Àngels Torrents, CED

Codi: 1984


Family Systems, Demographic Change, and Residence with Kin


Steven Ruggles, Joan Garcia, and Albert Esteve


For the past 150 years, social theorists have speculated about the impact of economic and demographic change on living arrangements of the elderly. Initially, most theorists posited that a decline of coresidence resulted from the rise of wage labor and the disappearance of agricultural inheritance. Since the late 20th century, most theorists have instead stressed the increasing resources of the older population, which the need for old age assistance and allows the old to maintain independent residence. We analyze data from 302 censuses taken in 90 countries between 1700 and 2020 to assess associations between family economic production, demographic conditions, and living arrangements of the elderly. We argue that a few basic economic and demographic indicators are sufficient to explain virtually all of the dramatic decline of coresidence of older persons with kin in the West over the past three centuries. Moreover, the same factors can account for the great bulk of the wide variation in levels of coresidence we observe across the world over the past 60 years. These findings are consistent with the earlier generation of theorists who stressed the shift from household production to wage labor.