Difference Between Joint And Nuclear Families
By Andrew Parker - October 11, 2021

Families are an essential part of everyone’s life and come in many different forms. Even a household of just one person can be considered their own family. The aim of this article is to discuss the difference between two popular kinds of families, the joint family, and the nuclear family. All families are unique, the intention of this article is only to generalize.

Table Summary

Joint FamilyNuclear Family
Extended family, parents, children, children’s spouses, and grandchildren all living within one homeComposed of two parents and their children
More concentration on community valuesMore concentration on individualistic values
Family members more reliant on each otherFamily members less reliant on each other 
Way to save money More costly way of living
More likely to have conflictLess likely to have conflict


Joint families are usually composed of a large group of family members all living together in a shared home. This group would include extended family, grandparents, parents, grandchildren, siblings, cousins, and spouses. The usefulness of this arrangement is that more concentration can be put on greater family values and education as well as there is better care for the elderly or infirm. This living situation also allows for the family to save money that would have been spent on separate accommodations.

Nuclear families are a small unit composed of just two parents and their children, this can also include step-children. All other extended family members would most likely live separately within their own homes. The usefulness is that there are more time and resources for the parents to give directly to their children, this usually results in more individualistic values. Though more expensive, it is usually a more comfortable environment where less conflict occurs.

Joint Family VS Nuclear Family

The primary difference between the two families is the size and living arrangement. Where joint families are large and include extended members and even non-blood relatives, nuclear families are only the parents and their direct line of children.