Home Economics Unit 1

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Unit 1.1: Demography

Understand the factors that influence the population patterns/trends in the United Kingdom.

 

Population defined as the number of people inhabiting a specified area or space as measured by the census.

Demography– the study of characteristics of human populations, such as its size, growth and vital statistics.

 

Population pattern and trends

 

Declining fertility rates– There has been a decline in fertility rates in recent years with fewer babies being born. (Fertility rate means the number of live births per 1000 people per year)

 

Declining mortality rates - There has been a decline in mortality rates as people are living longer. There is an increased life expectancy. (Mortality rate is the number of deaths per 1000 people per year).

 

Migration– Many people immigrate into the UK to either seek a better life (economic migrant) or to seek asylum.

 

Role of women– Many women are choosing to have fewer children or remain childless. Effective contraception is providing choice. People want to fulfil ambitions or acquire possessions before having children.

 

Advances in hygiene and medicine– This has reduced the mortality rate and infant mortality rate. Drug treatments, immunisation programmes, diagnostic equipment and new surgical equipment and improved diets have extended life.

 

 The implications of these patterns/trends for the structure of society in the future, eg the increase in elderly population in the United Kingdom

 

Increased life expectancy – individuals can enjoy years of active retirement. The retire population contribute by volunteering. However, dwindling financial resources may restrict opportunity.

 

Greater need for health care – may result in increased waiting list. Rising cost of medical treatments and the rising number of people who need the care may create a burden of dependency on the working population who may need to pay more tax.

 

More people living alone – elderly people may need more social care but this could result in abuse or neglect.

 

Increased retirement age – this ensures that people make more contributions through earnings to a pension. In later years, more people may choose to do flexible or part time work.

 

Increased goods and services – the elderly are wealthier than previous generations and have higher expectations.

 

Smaller families – lower birth rate means a higher standard of living for many families.

 

Fewer primary schools – many rural primary schools are under threat of closure which means some children will have to travel further to get to school.

 

Changes to caring roles – male and females may have to care for the elderly at some stage.  Grandparents have more active roles in childcare. Families are more mobile but it may mean elderly may be left alone.

 

Increased demand and cost for care– There is an increased demand for places in care homes and voluntary services. Some elderly people want to stay at home but require social care.

 

More dependency on the working population – the

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