The factors presented in this article fit perfectly in a wider discussion on the influence long-term demographic changes have on the size and the structure of the family. The most conspicuous symptoms are: the rise of the number of multi-generation families, triggered by the decrease in the death rate, and decrease in the number of large (having more than two children) families, caused by a decrease in the fertility rate. The effect of the two processes is an automatic rise of the importance of inter-generation relations in the family, to the loss of intra-generation relations, i.e. a verticalisation of the family net. The article is restricted to the analysis of only one side of the above equation, the changes in death rate, and its importance for the demographic structure of the Polish family. The result of the changes is a conspicuous rise of the probability of one's being a member of a multigeneration family, this being independent of one's status or position in the genealogical tree (children, or grandchildren). Automatically, the time spent in a given status within the family, performing the social role of the parent, the child, the grandparent or the grandchild, is increasing.
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