I'm not really sure if this is an opinion-based question or not but as a non-native speaker I always wanted to know at least a basis for how things work, so I've got two questions:

1) I know we have small and big families; do we have medium-size families, too? Do we have this concept at all in English?

2) How many is normally considered a small or a big family? What's the criterion?

I'm asking these to be sure before answering the question if I'm from a big or small family.


  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about learning English, since the meaning of the words (small/medium/large) is context dependent (in this case culture dependent). I think this should be a sociology question instead. Typically, census data is used to determine average family sizes.
    – user3169
    Mar 11, 2017 at 23:39

1 Answer 1


The concept for medium-sized families exist, but you will have to use the term "medium-sized family" (rather than 'medium family") when contrasting them with "large families" or "small families".

As far as what those terms indicate about the actual size of the family, that depends on the specific culture you are addressing. English is spoken in many different countries and cultures. A medium-sized Indian family will probably have a different number of people than one in the United States or in the United Kingdom.

  • Speaking of American or British family generally, what number comes to mind while talking about each terms i.e. small, medium-sized, and big?
    – Yuri
    Mar 11, 2017 at 12:06
  • 1
    According to Google, average family in both the US and UK is around 2.5 people. Average families would then be 2 or 3 people, smaller families would have a single adult, and larger families would be four or more people. Since single parent families are included in the average, another way of looking at it would be number of children. 0 children=small, 1-2 children=medium, and 3+ children is larger. Mar 12, 2017 at 10:12
  • Thank you. Very helpful I c now the broad picture that it's not only culture-specific but also time-specific.
    – Yuri
    Mar 12, 2017 at 17:23

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