Essay plan for Examine the causes of trends in the UK’s birth and death rates during the last century

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Examine the causes of trends in the UK's birth and death rates during the last century
Trends in the birth rate in the UK
Whether you look at birth rate (define) or total fertility rate (define), births have fallen in the UK. This would mean a
falling population except that the death rate has fallen at a greater rate.
Would mean a falling population except that death rate has fallen at a greater rate
The infant mortality rate used to be high (154 in 1900), now it's only 5 ­ why??
o Better hygiene
o Better housing and sanitation
o Greater knowledge of disease
o Preventative action that has eradicated many earlier childhood killers
o Improved welfare services
As a result ­ IMR has impacted overall birth rate
The role of women has changed
o More access to divorce, abortion, contraception
o Better education and paid employment
o Changing social attitudes to marriage, divorce, children
As a result ­ women feel less pressure to have children so the birth rate falls
More child centred society
o Legal changes to position of children
o Changing values
o Longer periods of dependency because of education
As a result ­ families and parents put more economic and emotional investment into children and this can only be
done with fewer children in the household
Many sociologists argue that actual improvements in medical treatment have had less impact than social changes
Trends in the death rate in the UK
The death rate has fallen (define) and the infant mortality rate has also fallen. This is due to:
Improved public health:
o Public sanitation
o Housing improvements
o Clean water
o Clean air
Immunisation has eradicated most major diseases
Antibiotics have also reduced deaths
Medical improvements have contributed to a falling death rate as illnesses that were formally fatal now aren't
Better nutrition has meant that people are more resistant to infection, illness and early deaths. This is due to:
o Laws controlling food quality
o Higher living standards
o However affluence has brought an increase in other illnesses e.g. obesity
Decline in heavy manual work
Improved welfare provision ­ elderly people and other vulnerable groups are better cared for and therefore live
longer

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