April 22, 2019

A Changing World: Global Views on Diversity, Gender Equality, Family Life and the Importance of Religion

4. How people around the world view family ties in their countries

Chart showing that globally, most say family ties have weakened.Across the 27 countries surveyed, almost six-in-ten (58%) believe family ties have gotten weaker over the past 20 years. This is true in virtually every country surveyed, including 64% in the U.S. and a median of 59% across 10 European countries.

The view that the strength of family is declining is also found in the Middle Eastern, sub-Saharan African and Latin American publics surveyed. For example, in Tunisia, 74% say family ties have gotten weaker. Almost six-in-ten Kenyan and Brazilian adults (59%) share the same view. Among the countries surveyed, those in South Korea are the most likely to say that family ties have weakened over the past two decades (83% say this).

The main exceptions to this global sentiment are in Indonesia and the Philippines. A majority of Indonesian adults (61%) say family ties have gotten stronger while 52% in the Philippines believe the same. About four-in-ten Nigerians also see family ties strengthening, though 43% say they are weakening.

When asked about whether the change in family ties was a good or bad thing for their countries, half or more in every country surveyed (except Indonesia and the Philippines) said this was a bad thing. And majorities in every country surveyed are in favor of strengthening family ties.