The Life Cycle of Bare Branch Families in China: A Simulation Study

Quanbao Jiang, Zhen Guo, Shuzhuo Li, Marcus W. Feldman


China is characterized by a large number of men who are unable to marry, often referred to as “bare branches.” In this paper, we define the bare branch family and divide its life cycle into three stages: the unmarried co-resident with both parents, co-resident with a surviving parent, and living alone. As the childbearing age of parents increases, the age of a bare branch at the death of his parents decreases, and the duration of his living alone lengthens. An increase in the mother’s childbearing age, holding that of the father constant, shortens the stage of co-residence with both parents, and lengthens the stage of living alone.


bare branch, family life cycle, life table, simulation, surviving alone, China

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Canadian Studies in Population | E-ISSN 1927-629X

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