Demography: Birth Rate Trends in the UK since 1900

  • Created by: mayono1
  • Created on: 10-05-18 11:11
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  • Demography: Birth Rate Trends in the UK since 1900
    • Changes in womens position
      • During the 20th Century major changes occurred such as:
        • Legal equality with men
        • Increased educational opportunities
        • More women in paid employment
        • Changes in attitudes towards family life and women's role
        • Easier access to divorce
        • Access to abortion and contraception
      • Sarah Harper (2012) = education of women is the most important reason for decrease in birth rates
        • Educated women are more likely to use family planning as they want to work instead of traditional house wife.
        • For example, in 2012, one in five women aged 45 was childless.
        • Cultural norms about family size change and are passed down the generations, smaller families become the norm.
    • Decline in the infant mortality rate
      • If the IMR decreases, birth rate decreases because parents don't need to have more children if they are surviving.
      • In 1900, 15% of babies died in their first year. So parents would have more children.
      • IMR decreased during the first half of the 20th Century because:
        • Improved housing and sanitation.
        • Better nutrition
        • Better knowledge of hygiene, child health and welfare
        • Decrease in the number of married women working
        • Improved services for mothers and children, such as postnatal clinics
      • From the 1950s onards, mass immunisation of childhood diseases, antibiotics, midwifery all contributed to the decline.
    • Children are now an economic liability
      • Children were an economic asset during the 19th Century.
        • They were sent out to work to earn income.
      • However since the 19th Century, children have became an economic liability.
        • Laws banning child labour and causing children to stay economically dependent on parents.
        • Changing norms about what children have the right to expect material-istically and so the cost of upbringing increased.
    • Child centeredness
      • Child-centeredness has caused the social construct of childhood to be an important time in a person's life.
      • Parents now have smaller families and better attachments to the few children they have.


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