Joint Family Vs Nuclear Family



Family is like a bowl of fruit salad – different in taste, colour, looks,  but together makes that amazing flavour which can make anyone forget their pain and take a sigh of relief.


Family is the soil where our roots are held together and from there we grow as an individual yet attached to the roots. Family is a very essential part of everyone’s life. The importance of family is being inscribed within our brains since childhood. The bond that we share with each and every individual of our family not only create a respectful relationship but also transform a house into a home.


Basically, there are two types of family – Joint family and Nuclear Family. Joint Family is an extended family, which consists of our grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings. Whereas the Nuclear family consists of only parents and their kids. In India, the joint family system has been in existence from decades. However, with passing time, the joint family system is fading away and people have started to live in a nuclear family.


“There is no such thing as a broken family. Family is family and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you.”― C. JoyBell C


“Nuclear Weapons aren’t much of a threat, today; compared to Families of the world, going Nuclear.”― Aniruddha Sastikar


“In view of the frequent occurrence of modern domestic groups that do not consist of, or contain an exclusive pair-bonded father and mother, I cannot see why anyone should insist that our ancestors were reared in monogamous nuclear families and that pair-bonding is more natural than other arrangements.” ― Marvin Harris

Statistics – What Numbers have to Say?

  • According to the 2001 census, out of 19.31 crore households, 9.98 crores or 51.7% were nuclear households.
  • In the 2011 census, the share grew to 52.1% — 12.97 crores nuclear out of 24.88 crore households.
  • From 54.3% of the urban households of 2001, nuclear families have fallen to 52.3% of all urban households.


  • In contrast, in rural areas, the share of nuclear families has risen from 50.7% to 52.1%.
  • Joint families, meanwhile, fell substantially to from 19.1% (3.69 crores) to 16.1% (4 crores) across India.
  • In rural areas, the dip was sharper – from 20.1% to 16.8% – than in urban India where it fell from 16.5% to 14.6%.


  • A survey carried out in the capital city, Delhi revealed that 40 % of elderly people have no caretakers. They spend their old age away from the love and care of their children and grandchildren. There has been a steep rise in the crime rate against senior citizens. Old age has been set up at various places to take care of senior citizens. In Delhi, Police departments are making a list of helpless senior citizens to make arrangements for their safety.  – Oct 12, 2018

Description – Let’s take a Deep Dive

As we know that in India the joint family system has been there for decades. The Father was considered as the head of the family who lives with his wife, children, brothers and many more other people. This kind of family is considered as a joint family.


All the responsibility of taking care of everyone was not just on any one person but was on each and every single individual. However, with the passing time, the joint family system has deteriorated which has given rise to the nuclear family system.


The main cause behind the deterioration of joint family is due to lack of opportunities and an increase in the towns and cities. People started migrating to cities living their roots behind in search of jobs.

Even if someone wants to bring their whole family to cities with them it is very difficult. There is numerous reason why a joint family couldn’t survive in cities. Some important reasons are lack of space, the cost of living is high so one cannot afford a whole big family staying together on just one person earning.


Even there are many instances where that mothers-in-law and daughter-in-law cannot stay together (as this can be one of the reasons in some cases).


Because of this reason, not only the children but also the grandchildren do not get their grandparents love, care, affection and same goes for the grandparents who have to live there remaining life all alone in a small place without having their children around them.


As you all know that a coin has two sides likewise both these types of the family has their own pros and cons. Let us see what are they.

Advantages of Joint Family

  • People will learn the importance of adjustment from childhood.
  • Children’s will be more patient as they will tackle different people with completely different nature.


  • People who are raised in joint families, easily mix with other people which help them to socialize easily.
  • People in joint families get the support of full family in there bad days be it financially or emotionally.
  • There will be no lack of friends, because of having cousins in their home itself.


  • Functions and festivals will be full of excitement.
  • Members of joint families are less likely to suffer from loneliness and depression.


  • Increase in incidents of child kidnapping, human trafficking is one of the most important issues for parents who have Kids. In joint families, this fear will be lesser because there will be a number of people to take care of their children.


  • Old parents will get the support of their children and new parents will get help too for raising their kids.
  • Kids will also get the love, care, affection of grandparents, when both the parents are working.
  • Kids can get lots of knowledge related to culture, how was the life of their grandparents etc.


Advantages of Nuclear Family

  • Adults in nuclear families will learn to be independent and take responsibilities on there own to support the family.
  • The kids will learn from their parents since childhood how to manage on their own which will help them to sustain when they will migrate to a new place to live on their own.


  • Parents can save money for the future of their kids as they will have fewer expenses.
  • Everyone will have their own privacy.


  • There will not be many conflicts compared to the joint family as the number of people will be few here.
  • As the number of people is few it will be easy to convince everyone in times for taking important decisions


  • Nuclear families are more inclined towards gender equality if compared to joint families because it does not consist of the elders to impose the age-old beliefs on the entire family.

Disadvantages of Joint Family

  • When many people live together in the same house there are high chances of conflicts regarding household work, finance etc.
  • There will be very less privacy for everyone.


  • While taking any important decision it will be difficult to convince everyone.
  • Living in joint families many a time can seize you of taking the right decision for your child as everyone around you will keep on saying what to do and what not.


Disadvantages of Nuclear Family

  • Many times it is difficult to manage kids because both the parents are working.
  • Since the children have to live away from their parents they may become isolated from their family.


  • Since both, the parents are working the kids do not have any guidance which may lead children to get attracted toward some bad habits and friends as well.
  • Children may follow the same trend and may leave their parents once they start earning causing loneliness to them too.


In India, the joint family system is widespread in many parts. But due to the increase in urbanization, nuclear families are taking over the joint family systems. Though Both types of families have their own advantages as well as disadvantages. Its people’s choice to have a nuclear family or joint family depending on their situations and personal preferences.


Being in any of these families will give you a different experience and lifestyle altogether. A family is part of our life, which helps us to mould into a person what we are today. It doesn’t matter to which family you belong what matters is how you respect people older than you and take care of people younger than you. At the end of the day,  a person should be happy going back home when he/she will be exhausted working whole day nothing else matters be it a  joint family or nuclear family.

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Author – Tanvi Jadhav

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  1. I Wana add something to the advantages of nuclear family

    I.e when the two families are far apart then there will more love and affection
    Than in a joint family

    When they come for any festivities or functions good relations are made

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