Nuclear family  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The term nuclear family developed in the western world to distinguish the family group consisting of parents, most commonly a father and mother, and their children, from what is known as an extended family. Nuclear families can be any size, as long as the family can support itself and there are only parents and children (or the family is an extended family.) According to Merriam-Webster the term dates back to 1947 and is therefore relatively new, although nuclear family structures themselves date back thousands of years. Today roughly one quarter of households in the United States, for example, are described as consisting of nuclear families, making them the third most common household arrangement in that nation.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Nuclear family" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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