Until recently Gypsies used to live as extended families and therefore retained especially strong extended-family ties. Social-security benefits have made them more independent, however, and they have begun to adopt a nuclear family Structure. In addition to these family connections there also exist among the Roma work and travel units, which are more or less flexible economic entities, called kumpanias. They can include part of a family or a caravan camp.
With respect to marriage we know that only 5 percent of the Dutch Gypsies have married a non-Gypsy. The older Generation in particular stresses the importance of endogamy.