World Family Map 2013

Mapping family change and child well-being outcomes

January 15, 2013  |  by Laura H. Lippman & W. Bradford Wilcox

The World Family Map Project is a new, annual initiative to study family well-being around the world.

There is an urgent need to assess family outcomes with an eye to child well-being because family dynamics are changing. For example, in Canada, statistics show fewer people are getting married and more children are being raised by single parents.

Today’s report provides global context for how Canadian families fare in categories such as family structure, family socioeconomics, family processes and family culture. There is also a special essay dedicated to comparing children’s outcomes in education. This essay will change annually, while the indicator comparison will remain the same, creating annual benchmarks. 

While the data shows trends in lower income nations are often completely different than those in higher income nations, comparisons can be made of higher income nations such as Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Social science research shows substantive benefits accrue to children living in two-parent homes. This paper highlights that children in two-parent families have higher scores for reading literacy as compared with children living with one parent, even after accounting for socioeconomic differences. More Canadian children live in households with two parents (78%) than their counterparts in the United States (69%) or the United Kingdom (76%).

Permission is granted to reprint or broadcast this information with appropriate attribution to the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada.

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