Magnesium belongs to the family of alkaline earth metals. These elements are found in Group IIA of the periodic table of elements. They all have two electrons in their outer shell.
Alkaline earth metals possess both low electron affinity and low electronegativity. They tend to give up the two electrons in their outer shells to form divalent cations. The atomic radii of the alkaline earth metals is not as large as that of the alkali metals. Other elements in the family are beryllium, calcium, strontium, barium and radium. These soft metals are generally a silver color. Magnesium itself is the eighth most common element in the earth's crust.