Special Report

Rich Countries With the Biggest Families

wundervisuals / E+ via Getty Images

Family size varies greatly from country to country, depending not only on how many children a couple (or a single parent) decides to raise, but also on whether or not extended family members – typically parents or grandchildren – are part of the household. 

In general, wealthier countries tend to have smaller family sizes. The average individual in sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, lives in a household of 6.9 people, according to Pew Research. The comparable average in Europe is 3.1. (These are the poorest countries int he world.)

To identify the rich countries with the biggest families, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the Family Database published by the 38-nation Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The database breaks down the computations according to couple households with children, single parent households with children, and all households. Our list ranks the 15 countries with the largest mean average number of people for all households.  

Note that the time frame for the data is inconsistent among the countries covered. The data is from 2010 for Korea and Mexico (2010); 2011 for Australia, Canada, and Costa Rica; 2013 for New Zealand; 2016 for the U.S.; and 2015 for the remaining eight nations. The percentage of households with zero children also comes from the OECD Family Database and is for the same years, while total population comes from the World Bank World Development Indicators for 2020.

Of the 15 countries on the list, the U.S. has the “smallest” big families with an average of 2.5 people per household. Some 66.6% of households have no children, the second largest percentage after New Zealand at 67.0%. 

Click here to see the rich countries with the biggest families

The largest households of the top 15 can be found in Mexico, with an average of about four people in each household. Only 41.3% are childless. Interestingly, it is not among the 25 least expensive countries in which to raise a family

Source: ucpage / iStock via Getty Images

15. United States
> Avg number of people per household: 2.5
> Households without children: 66.6%
> Population: 331,501,080

[in-text-ad]

Source: pixdeluxe / E+ via Getty Images

14. Australia
> Avg number of people per household: 2.6
> Households without children: 37.8%
> Population: 25,693,267

Source: nazar_ab / E+ via Getty Images

13. New Zealand
> Avg number of people per household: 2.7 (tie)
> Households without children: 67.0%
> Population: 5,090,200

Source: stock_colors / E+ via Getty Images

12. Romania
> Avg number of people per household: 2.7 (tie)
> Households without children: 65.1%
> Population: 19,257,520

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Nadezhda1906 / iStock via Getty Images

11. Malta
> Avg number of people per household: 2.7 (tie)
> Households without children: 63.1%
> Population: 515,332

Source: wundervisuals / E+ via Getty Images

10. Cyprus
> Avg number of people per household: 2.7 (tie)
> Households without children: 61.1%
> Population: 1,207,361

[in-text-ad]

Source: Imgorthand / E+ via Getty Images

9. Poland
> Avg number of people per household: 2.7 (tie)
> Households without children: 61.6%
> Population: 37,899,070

Source: Rawpixel / iStock via Getty Images

8. Korea
> Avg number of people per household: 2.7 (tie)
> Households without children: N/A
> Population: 51,836,239

Source: no_limit_pictures / E+ via Getty Images

7. Ireland
> Avg number of people per household: 2.7 (tie)
> Households without children: 58.5%
> Population: 4,985,674

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: supersizer / iStock via Getty Images

6. Croatia
> Avg number of people per household: 2.8 (tie)
> Households without children: 64.9%
> Population: 4,047,680

Source: Halfpoint / iStock via Getty Images

5. Slovak Republic
> Avg number of people per household: 2.8 (tie)
> Households without children: 62.8%
> Population: 5,458,827

[in-text-ad]

Source: kirill4mula / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

4. Israel
> Avg number of people per household: 3.3
> Households without children: N/A
> Population: 9,215,100

Source: stockstudioX / iStock via Getty Images

3. Costa Rica
> Avg number of people per household: 3.5 (tie)
> Households without children: 30.3%
> Population: 5,094,114

Source: ozgurcankaya / iStock via Getty Images

2. Turkey
> Avg number of people per household: 3.5 (tie)
> Households without children: 45.7%
> Population: 84,339,067

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: FG Trade / E+ via Getty Images

1. Mexico
> Avg number of people per household: 3.9
> Households without children: 41.3%
> Population: 128,932,753

Want to Retire Early? Start Here (Sponsor)

Want retirement to come a few years earlier than you’d planned? Or are you ready to retire now, but want an extra set of eyes on your finances?

Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help you build your plan to retire early. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free.

Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.