Sociology of the Family (Trends)

Trends in the Family and the household over the past 30 years

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Family Size

Declined over the past 30 years from 3.1 people in 1964 to 2.4 people in 2006

Reasons for this:

  • Women Employment: more women have careers and put this ahead of family life
  • Cost of Childcare: a survey from daycare trust reported that childcare cost had covered 1/4 of household income
  • Lifestyle Choice: because of a materialistic society and consumer goods mean that lifestyle choices are different from those from the past
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Has declined over the past 30 years

  • Peak for marriages were in 1972 with 480,000
  • Since then marriages have been decline till the 21st century
  • However has fallen 10% between 2004-05
  • Some people would rather co-habitat or live alone as it is much easier
  • Marriage is still a popular choice and half of men and women in the UK were married

A rise in Marriages and re-marriages

  • Re-marriages rose to 1/3 between 1971-72, as a result of the divorce reform act of 1969
  • by 2005 re-marriages were constituted for 40% of marriages in the UK

Marrying Later in life

  • 40 years ago Men married at the age of 25 now 31, women married at 23 now 29
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Expectations of Marriages

Crow (2001)

  • Marriages based on emotional fulfilment
  • Now based on relationships

Before marriages for women were for financial security but now because of economic freedom it is not the case now

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Increase in rate

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