Types of Family in Nigeria

In a country as culturally rich and diverse as Nigeria, it’s no surprise that family structures vary significantly across different regions and ethnic groups. From the bustling city of Lagos to the serene villages of the North, Nigeria’s tapestry of family types is a reflection of its complex history and traditions. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of family structures in Nigeria, shedding light on the various types that exist, their characteristics, and the significance they hold in Nigerian society.

types of family in Nigeria

The family is essential to a child’s upbringing because it can be the thing that affects their growth the most. Because children require parents for a very long time, all societies are based around units of people that we typically refer to as “the family.” I’ll go over the many types of families that are typical in modern-day Nigeria in this article.


According to the National Statistical Office, there were 43.0 million homes in Nigeria in 2020. This is an increase of 2.52% from the previous year. The number of families in Nigeria has historically ranged from 15.7 million in 1990 to 43.0 million in 2020.


In Nigeria, we have 7 types of families and they include:


The nuclear family is the traditional family unit in Nigeria. The members of this form of family are two parents and children. The nuclear family has long been seen as the ideal environment for raising children in society. Nuclear families benefit from the strength and stability that comes from having two parents, and they often have better opportunities since two people may earn more money.

When one considers the definition of a nuclear family, a family with adopted children may not appear to be one.

In reality, a nuclear family is one where both parents raise their kids together, whether they were adopted or born into the family.

Since both parents belong to nuclear families, the family is typically financially stable. It is likely that both parents will work and support their families. This improves the family’s standard of living in general. Another advantage of the nuclear family is the normal and constant parenting style used to raise the children. Their parents both commit the same amount of time and energy to raise them.


This type of family is made up of one parent and one or more children. This form of family can develop as a result of a divorce, an unmarried child’s birth, the death of a parent, or when a couple separates and lives apart. When there is just one parent in the home, friends, family, and other relatives help the parent raise the kids. When a parent needs to go for work, this safety net can help with child care.

It is not unusual to see this type of family in Nigeria today. In addition to nuclear families, there are also single-parent families. Members of this kind of family tend to become close because they get to spend time together. They also get to learn how to take care of the home together.

In a single-parent family, there is only one parent, so that person typically bears the bulk of the financial load. As a result, the family must struggle to get by on one paycheck.

Being a single parent and raising children alone may be tremendously stressful. It can be quite difficult for children to grow up without one of their parents. As a result, the family unit would be strengthened because the parents and kids would always need to rely on one another for love and support.


I’ve seen that Nigeria definitely has a higher than average divorce rate. People who get divorced frequently decide to get married again. A stepfamily, also known as a blended family, is the consequence of the joining of two separate families. It also includes the children of the new husband, wife, or spouse from previous marriages or relationships.

Despite the fact that they frequently encounter unique challenges like adjustment periods and behavioural issues, stepfamilies are about as common as nuclear families. Stepfamilies must learn to work together with their ex-spouses and with one another in order for these family structures to be successful.


Like a typical extended family, one or both grandparents, a married couple, their children, and additional relatives, such as aunts, uncles, and cousins, all live together under one roof. This is not an extended family if a child from a prior marriage or relationship resides with the spouse and the other members of the group.

An “incomplete extended family” is a thing. This sort of extended family consists of a single parent with children, their grandmother, grandfather, or both, as well as additional relatives. This family is deemed incomplete since both parents are absent.

A normal extended family faces challenges, such as the fact that everyone living there would likely want to voice their opinion on how to raise the children during the course of raising the family’s young members. Another negative is that the extended family is having financial problems. If the parents are now financially supporting multiple people and children without receiving any assistance from them, this can be troublesome. Another is the concern over privacy. Most extended families who live together lack privacy. This may change depending on the kind of house they live in.

The senior occupants of the home could receive additional attention and care. This is a crucial advantage of the bigger family. Additionally, individuals at home can help the parents with child care when they leave for work. Family members are always eager to help out with chores around the house and other responsibilities, especially in an emergency.


This type of family’s parents separated after experiencing difficulties in their marriage. Despite their refusal to live together, they must nonetheless fulfil their parental duties. In contrast to single-parent homes, where one parent is fully accountable for raising the child even if she is often the one who resides with them, separated parents share responsibilities.


A childless family is a type of family where the married pair determines they do not want to have children. The couple living in this home may also be infertile. In our Nigerian society, a childless family is not regarded as a complete family since it does not fulfil the standard definition of a family, which comprises a father, a mother, and, of course, children.

A family can be considered childless for a variety of reasons. One of these components is the problem of infertility. It is possible for one spouse to have infertility issues that make it challenging for the couple to conceive. A family may also be referred to as childless if one parent is genetically predisposed to a disease that could be passed on to their children should they want to have children.

The married pair can then decide they do not wish to have children in order to avoid passing the illness on to them. In addition, parents who prioritise their careers may decide against having children right away because they would not have the time to raise them. Couples without a reliable source of income can also decide to put off having children until their financial situation improves.

Most households without children do not have financial commitments because they do not have dependent children.

Additionally, the family can spend a lot of money without worrying about having to provide for infants and toddlers. Couples in this type of family always have more free time, and as long as they have the funds to do so, they are free to travel wherever they like. They also have the opportunity to further their studies and careers.


For a variety of reasons, a child may occasionally be raised by his grandparents instead of by his parents. When the grandparents are raising their grandchildren by themselves, without the help of the kids’ parents, this is a grandparent family.

Many grandparents are raising their grandchildren nowadays for a variety of reasons. One in fourteen kids are brought up by their grandparents alone, unaided by their parents.

The parent’s death, addiction, abandonment, or inability to be a parent could all be contributing factors. Many grandparents are compelled to support their grandkids by going back to work or finding other sources of money.

Chizoba Ikenwa

Chizoba is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the founder of Nigerian Infopedia. He is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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