Having three children or more at home

Nathalie Blanpain et Liliane Lincot, division Enquêtes et études démographiques, Insee

In 2011, Metropolitan France counted 1.7 million families with three or more children, at least one of them a minor. Thus, one in five families is a large family. A total of 1.4 million men, 1.7 million women and 5.6 million children live in these families. Those with no formal qualifications, whether men or women, live with three or more children more frequently than those with formal qualifications. Similarly, immigrants are more often head of a large family. In contrast, the descendants of immigrants have fertility behaviours similar to those of other non-immigrants and live almost in the same proportions with three or more children (22% versus 20%). On average, the standard of living of families decreases with the number of children, so that large families are more affected by poverty. Parents of large families are more likely to come from the same size family: the greater the number of siblings an individual has, the greater the number of children he will have. Finally, having two children of the same sex sometimes drives the desire for a third child.

Insee Première
No 1531
Paru le : 13/01/2015