|In 1996, 21% of all people were living as a part of an extended family. An extended family is two or more adults from different generations of a family, who share a household. It consists of more than parents and children; it may be a family that includes parents, children, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, foster children etc. The extended family may live together for many reasons, help raise children, support for an ill relative, or help with financial problems. Sometimes children are raised by their grandparents when their biological parents have died or no longer can take care of them. Many grandparents take some primary responsibility for child care, particularly when both parents work. Extended families can be found all over the world in different communities and countries. The number of these families has increased by 40 percent in the past ten years.
There are three types of extended families; they are one generation, two generation and three generation families. Forty eight percent of all extended families live in a two generation family. Most Canadian seniors live in an extended family, often with a son or a daughter. It is more likely for a nuclear family to become an extended family than any other family type.