Marriage takes place at a young age, usually in the teens, and most Puerto Ricans desire children shortly after marriage.
Both marriage and the birth of children are important events in terms of forming bonds between families and households, with well-established visiting patterns among related households and compadrazgo relations formed between households at the baptisms of children. The Puerto Rican diaspora has had a strong influence on the character of the domestic unit.
In Puerto Rico, the typical unit consists of a woman and man and their unmarried children, yet it is not uncommon for unmarried or widowed parents to live with their children, and visiting patterns among households and dwellings are such that the lines between households often become blurred.
On the mainland, there is a much higher incidence of households headed by women with small children than there is on the island. In principle, all possessions of the deceased are to be divided into three equal parts: the legitimá (legitimate), which is divided equally among the children; the mejora (best), which is divided among the children according to the decisions of the deceased; and the libre disposición (freely disposable), which is given to the spouse.
Interdependent groups of individuals residing in a number of different locations characterize most Puerto Ricans' domestic units.
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Households may or may not be units bounded by dwellings, plots of land, or even the boundaries of the commonwealth.
The 1990 census reports 3.31 persons per household in Puerto Rico, a figure that is probably an underestimate because of the dispersed nature of Puerto Rican households.
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