The University of Wisconsin Press

Asian Studies


Family Dynamics in China
A Life Table Analysis
Zeng Yi

Life Course Studies Series

This remarkable book establishes three major milestones in demography.

It provides the first English-language demographic profile by a Chinese author of contemporary population trends and family structure in China; it constructs a viable mathematical model for extending existing family status life table models to the three-generational family that is still common in China and the rest of Asia; and is uses that model to compare the dynamics of family structure in China before and after the dramatic drop in fertility that followed the 1979 implementation of stringent family size limits..

Twenty percent of the world's population lives in the People's Republic of China, yet relatively little has been known about its population structure. The 1982 census of population, the first in China to use sophisticated techniques of data collection and analysis, made it possible to examine family characterisitics and their determinants: marriage, widowhood, and divorce; fertility and mortality; and rural-urban, ethnic, and regional diferences. Family Dynamics in China draws both on the 1982 census and other demmographic data collected during the 1980s.

This general analysis provides the framework for a mathematical model that uses as its starting point family status life table models, developed by Bongaarts and others, that simultaneously include multiple variables such as age, marital status, parity, and fecundity. Previously, these models were based upon the nuclear family and assumed that adult children necessarily leave their parents' homes at marriage. Yet the 1982 Chinese census indicated that nearly 20 percent of of all Chinese families contained three or more generations. By extending existing models to accommodate the multigenerational family, Zeng Yi has made an important methodological advance that is applicable to many other Western societies.

Zeng Yi, when this book was published, was professor and deputy director at the Institute of Population Research at Peking University

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Zeng's book is red with type in black and white.

June 1991

LC: 90-050102 HQ
192 pp.   6 x 9
40 charts and graphs
ISBN-10: 0-299-12634-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-299-12634-6
Paper $16.95 s

The 1991 cloth edition of this book is out of print, but the paperback is still available.

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