Demographic changes and the Family

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  • Created by: Lilly
  • Created on: 04-01-13 22:22

4 Factors that affect the size of the population

1. Birth Rate- Number of live births per 1000 of the population per year.

2. Fertility Rate- Number of live births per 1000 from women aged 15-44 per year

3. Death Rate- Number of deaths per 1000 of the population per year

4. Migration- the number of people entering a country (Immigration) and the number of people leaving the country (emigrants)

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Reasons for the decline in birth & fertility rates

1. Falling infant Mortality rate- it has fallen due to: -imporved hygeine and sanitation, - improved healthcare, - improved child welfare.

2. Children as an economic burden- -during C19th children were produces, and an economic asset because they could work from a young age. -Now, laws restrict the age at which children can work, the hours and the conditions they work in, the time they spent in school was also increased. -Children are consumers, economically dependent on their parents- an economic cost, disencourages people to have children.

3. Changing attitudes- -Families and society has become more child-centred, more concerned with child welfare. -social norms as to what childcare had changed. -time and cost of raising children had increased, reduced economic attractiveness of having losts of children (BECK & BECK-GERNHEISM (1995) INDIVIDUALISATION)

4. Changes in Gender Roles- -women are choosing to have children later, factors to this include: = Improved contraception in the 1960s, giving women more control over their own fertility, = easier access to abortions, Abortion Act 1967, =the rise of the neo-conventional family, making it difficult to combine work with child care, =greater work equality for women, =greater legal equality, Equal pay act 1970, =improved female education

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Reasons for declining death rate

1. Development in medical treatments- -decrease in infectious diseases, such as TB -Antibiotics introduced in 1930s, -Death rates form diseases of 'affluence' had been increasing, however they were improved through medical services, NHS established in 1949, better maternity care, decrease in infant mortality.

2. Nutrition and living standars- -Rowntree & Others (1899, 1950) demonstrated the decline in absolute povery ( Absolute poverty= lack of basic necessities in life) -Increasing living standars have allowed signifcant improvements in diet throughout population= better nutrition helps to increase resistance to infectious diseases

3. Welfare, health and enviroment- -C19th-20th, improvements to water supply and sewag disposal.

1914- free school meals introduced

1911- sickness benefit introduced

-After the 1944 Bevendfe report, the range of weldare privisons expanded & became more avaliable, providing protection to those most at risk,

           -Old age- Pensions

          -Low income families & unemplotment- benefits & income support



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Reasons for the ageing population

1. Birth rate & fertiliy rate- -Falling infant mortality rate, due to better hygeine, welfare and health care. -children seen as an economic burden, -changind attitudes== Beck & Beck-Gernheism, Individualisation (1995). -Changes in gender roles, greater rights for women.

2. Death rate- Falling death rate (more people living longer) this is due to:  

    • developments in medical operations and medicens
    • improvements in state welfare, health and enviroment
    • Improved nutrition and living standars             









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Effects of an ageing population

1. Dependancy ration- rising number of the population beyond retirement age, increases economic burden on those working. Have to pay out more tax to support retired people.

2. Effect on families- -Can place extra economic, emotional and practical burdens on working age who have to care for elderly as well as their children. -Burden tends to fall heavily on women, who are usually main carers.

3.Government Spending- -Povisions for welfare of elderly poses large economic burden on government, pensioners= pay small tax, but their demands on healthcare are likely to be greater than younger members of the population, as a result the UK has increased retirement ages to support the elderly: It will rise from 60 to 66 for women and from 65 to 66 for men by 2020

 4. Social problems for old people- -increased number of singletons living in povery, - however some people say this is exaggerated as the health of the elderly is improving.

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Beck &Beck-Gernsheim (1995) Indivdualisation

  • Poepl no longer have to follow traditional norms &values and instead make their own decisions, which include: whether to get married.
  • Uncertinty and the risk of relationship breakdown makes people wary of having too many children, however children are increasingly important to people since parent-child relationships are permentant, whilst marriages can be disposable.
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