Increase in SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES
Tripled to 24% between 1972 and 2006.
Allan & Crow (2001) -
- Increase in divorce
- significant rise in the number of never married women.
CHOICE IS A KEY FACTOR IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY.
Increase in FAMILY HOUSEHOLDS
30% increase from 1971 to 2006.
Growing trend of single person households.
Decrease in FAMILY SIZE
3.1 people to 2.4 people (1961-2006)
- Women's employment - more women are prioritising their careers over having children.
- Cost of childcare - nearly a quarter of household income (Williams 2006)
- Lifestyle choice - spending money on other things besides children - consumer society.
Increase in YOUNG ADULTS LIVING WITH THEIR PARENTS.
- 58% of men & 39% of women aged 20-24 lived with their parents (2006)
- 8% increase from 1991.
- Increase in housing costs
- Cost of higher education
- Lack of social housing.
Increase in COHABITATION
- 24% of non-married people under 60 cohabited in 2005.
- Half in 1986.
- Decline of "living in sin" stigma
- Better contraception - couples can live together and have a sexual relationship without worrying about pregnancy. (Allan & Crow 2001)
- Secularisation - international trend and decline in influence of religion.
Decrease in MARRIAGE
10% decrease between 2004-2005.
- Cohabitation- choosing to cohabit instead of, or prior to, getting married.
- Choosing to live alone - seen as a positive lifestyle choice.
Increase in PROPORTION OF MARRIAGES THAT ARE REMARRIAGES
- Rose by a third between 1971-1972
- 40% of all marriages were remarriages in 2005.
MARRYING LATER IN LIFE
- 1970s - men marrying at 25. 2006 - men marrying at 31.
- 1970s - women marrying at 23. 2006 - women marrying at 29.
Decrease in MARRIAGE (cont'd)
EXPECTATION OF MARRIAGE
Allan & Crow (2001) -
- expect emotional fulfillment from marriage
- focus is now on the relationship.
In the past, people might not have had the financial independence to separate from their spouse.
Now, if they are not happy in a relationship, they will not stay together.
Increase in SINGLE PERSON HOUSEHOLDS.
3 million - 7 million since 1971-2005.
- Choosing to live alone - lifestyle choice, gives people freedom to live their lives in their own way. POSTMODERNISTS.
- Employment patterns changing - more people have to move to find employment and therefore more people are settling down by themselves.
- Increase in broken marriages & lone parent families - when partners split up, 1 household becomes 2. More single adults live in a household without a partner.
Increase in DIVORCE
Decrease by 7% between 2005-2006.
- Legal changes - changes in divorce laws resulted in more people applying for divorce.
- Cost - the rich can afford lawyers and the poor can get legal aid.
- Secularisation - decline in religious beliefs and practices. Therefore, divorce is more acceptable in some cultures.
- Women's economic independence - as women gain economic independence, their option to leave an unsatisfactory marriage increases.
- Demographic changes - people live longer and therefore have to work harder to make relationships work. Also, there is potentially more risk of relationships breaking down.