Examine the Main Trends in Births and Deaths in the United Kingdom from 1900

Topics: Demography, Population, Life expectancy Pages: 3 (977 words) Published: January 13, 2013
The birth rate of a country refers to the number of live births per thousand of the population per year. The general trend for the UK is that there has been a decline in the birth rate since 1900 however there have been fluctuations in the rate due e.g. After World War 1 & 2 and in the 1960s. Sociologists believe this is because of four major factors: changes in gender roles, falling infant mortality, children being seen as an economic burden and our society becoming more child centred. A main part of the decline can be explained in terms of women simply choosing to have fewer children. As the position of women in society has changed overtime, they have chosen to delay childbearing and to limit the number of children they are having because of several factors. Women now have equality with men because of the Equality Act 2010 as well as receiving increased educational and employment opportunities. Other ways in which women’s position has changed is that there is now easier access to divorce, contraception and abortion meaning that they can avoid unwanted pregnancy so have full choice over when they have a child. Beck and Back-Gernsheim(1995) said that the changes in the birth and fertility rate are due to individualisation meaning that people have more choice to follow their own norms and values as well as making their own decisions, rather the following what society deems acceptable. Also the falling infant mortality rate (number of children dying before their first birthday per thousand of live births) has fallen dramatically as a result of factors such as better living standards, improved hygiene and sanitation, improvements to healthcare and the developments made to the welfare state. Geographers explain that these circumstances lead to a demographic revolution in which birth and fertility fall because women no longer feel they need to have a large number of children to protect against the risk of infant mortality. It is clear that the attitudes towards...
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