The UK population

Consequences of these changes affected things like the family, the dependency ratio, and public services and policies. The family was affected because smaller families meant that women are more likely to be able to go out and work, thus creating dual earner couples. However better off couples may be able to have larger families and pay for childcare that allows them to both work. The dependency ratio is the relationship between the size of the working population and the size of the non-working, dependent population.

The earnings, savings and taxes of the working population must support the dependent population, which is made up largely of children so a fall in the amount of children reduced the ‘burden of dependency’. However this decrease will mean there are fewer young adults in the future which could possibly balance it out again. With a lower birth rate, fewer schools and maternity and child health services may be needed, and also different housing would be developed. These decisions are political though so for example the number of schools may not be reduced but the class sizes may be instead.

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The decline in the fertility rate has encouraged the decline of the full-time mother and the growth of the dual-career family in which couples combine paid work with family life and childcare with over 60% of families with children now combine jobs and family life. There are two types of dual-earner families, one that when both partners have established a career they have a child, and another more common type is where the husband earns the major share and the wife works part-time, usually taking the major responsibility for the childcare and upkeep of the home.

Another factor that affects our population is the death rate, the annual number of deaths per 1000. The number of deaths remained relatively steady since 1900 at around 600,000 per year, with it obviously rising during the 2 world wars, and peaking in 1918 with the war and the influenza epidemic bringing deaths to a level of 690,000. However with the increasing population the death rate has fallen since 1900, with it steadily decreasing since the 1950’s.

There are many reasons for the fall in the death rate, including;As the death rates are falling, the life expectancy is increasing. Males born in England in 1900 could expect on average to live until they were 50 (57 for females), however males born in England in 2003-5 can now expect to live for 76. 9 years (81. 2 for females). One of the reasons for such a low life expectancy in 1900 was that many infants died young, and to put the improvement into perspective, a baby today has a better chance of reaching its 65th birthday than a baby born in 1900 had of reaching its 1st birthday.

Generally, women live longer but the gap between male and female has narrowed due to changes in lifestyle and employment, also the life expectancy in the north and Scotland is lower than those living in the south. Our population is ageing as a result of the decline in the birth and fertility rate and the rise in life expectancy, with the number of people aged 65 or over predicted to take over the number of under 16’s for the first time ever in 2014.

This has had many effects on how our population looks today, including the amount of one-person pensioner households with most of them female due to the fact that women usually live longer and females are usually younger than their husband. Another effect is the change in the dependency ratio. Earlier it was shown that the working side of the dependency rate was outgrowing the non-working side due to the decrease of the birth rate, however the non-working old are also economically dependent so therefore will balance out the ratio once again.

Old age has become socially constructed to be a problem for our population. The Griffiths Report (1988) on the care of the elderly saw that the growing numbers of elderly people meant that society faced a problem of meeting costs for the health and social care of the support. Also there have been concerns of the ‘pension’s time bomb’ which fears how society will cope with meeting the cost of providing pensions for the elderly. The old is often portrayed as vulnerable, incompetent and a burden to society.

This view contrasts with that of traditional societies where the old are respected and ageing is associated with a rising status which is what used to be the case in the past. Townsend (1981) argues that one reason for the negative label attached to old age is that it has been socially constructed as a period of dependency by creating a statutory retirement age at which most people are expected/required to stop working and are forced to live on benefits that push many people into poverty.

Hirsch also argues that a number of new social policies will be needed to tackle problems posed by an ageing population with the main problem being how to finance a longer period of old age, which could be done by paying more from our savings/taxes while we are working, or by continuing to work for longer, or a combination of both. Hirsch therefore argues that the current trend of early retirement needs to be reversed and one way of doing this is giving educational resources to old people so that they can retrain and improve their skills and help them to continue earning.

These policy changes all require a cultural change in our attitudes towards the elderly and the view of Hirsch illustrates the idea that old age is a social construct and it is not a fixed biological fact. Another major change in the population of the UK is the increase in cultural diversity and migration. Migration has led to a greater religious diversity within Great Britain and a number of distinct minority ethnic groups with White British making up 88%, White Other making up 2. 5%, Indians making up 1. 8%, Pakistanis making up 1. 3% and many others. Religious diversity include 72% Christian, 3% Muslims, 1% Hindus also other religions.

Immigration has led to great cultural diversity with only 39% of British-born African-Caribbean adults under the age of 60 being in a formal marriage, compared with 60% of White adults. Also the number of mixed-race partnerships means that very few African-Caribbean men and women are married to fellow African-Caribbean’s and only one-quarter of African-Caribbean children live with two Black parents. These types of partnerships result in mixed-race children and some sociologists argue that these types of families have problems such as facing prejudice and discrimination from both White and Black communities.

The introduction of different family types have brought a different perspective to family life in the UK, which different values and traditions being brought in by many different ethnic groups such as with African-Caribbean families tend to be single parent families more often than White families, with mothers choosing to live independently from their children’s fathers because they possibly have weighed up the costs and benefits of living with the father’s and have chosen the fact they are an unreliable source of As the death rates are falling, the life expectancy is increasing.

Males born in England in 1900 could expect on average to live until they were 50 (57 for females), however males born in England in 2003-5 can now expect to live for 76. 9 years (81. 2 for females). One of the reasons for such a low life expectancy in 1900 was that many infants died young, and to put the improvement into perspective, a baby today has a better chance of reaching its 65th birthday than a baby born in 1900 had of reaching its 1st birthday.

Generally, women live longer but the gap between male and female has narrowed due to changes in lifestyle and employment, also the life expectancy in the north and Scotland is lower than those living in the south. Our population is ageing as a result of the decline in the birth and fertility rate and the rise in life expectancy, with the number of people aged 65 or over predicted to take over the number of under 16’s for the first time ever in 2014.

This has had many effects on how our population looks today, including the amount of one-person pensioner households with most of them female due to the fact that women usually live longer and females are usually younger than their husband. Another effect is the change in the dependency ratio. Earlier it was shown that the working side of the dependency rate was outgrowing the non-working side due to the decrease of the birth rate, however the non-working old are also economically dependent so therefore will balance out the ratio once again.

Old age has become socially constructed to be a problem for our population. The Griffiths Report (1988) on the care of the elderly saw that the growing numbers of elderly people meant that society faced a problem of meeting costs for the health and social care of the support. Also there have been concerns of the ‘pension’s time bomb’ which fears how society will cope with meeting the cost of providing pensions for the elderly. The old is often portrayed as vulnerable, incompetent and a burden to society.

This view contrasts with that of traditional societies where the old are respected and ageing is associated with a rising status which is what used to be the case in the past. Townsend (1981) argues that one reason for the negative label attached to old age is that it has been socially constructed as a period of dependency by creating a statutory retirement age at which most people are expected/required to stop working and are forced to live on benefits that push many people into poverty.

Hirsch also argues that a number of new social policies will be needed to tackle problems posed by an ageing population with the main problem being how to finance a longer period of old age, which could be done by paying more from our savings/taxes while we are working, or by continuing to work for longer, or a combination of both. Hirsch therefore argues that the current trend of early retirement needs to be reversed and one way of doing this is giving educational resources to old people so that they can retrain and improve their skills and help them to continue earning.

These policy changes all require a cultural change in our attitudes towards the elderly and the view of Hirsch illustrates the idea that old age is a social construct and it is not a fixed biological fact. Another major change in the population of the UK is the increase in cultural diversity and migration. Migration has led to a greater religious diversity within Great Britain and a number of distinct minority ethnic groups with White British making up 88%, White Other making up 2. 5%, Indians making up 1. 8%, Pakistanis making up 1. 3% and many others. Religious diversity include 72% Christian, 3% Muslims, 1% Hindus also other religions.

Immigration has led to great cultural diversity with only 39% of British-born African-Caribbean adults under the age of 60 being in a formal marriage, compared with 60% of White adults. Also the number of mixed-race partnerships means that very few African-Caribbean men and women are married to fellow African-Caribbean’s and only one-quarter of African-Caribbean children live with two Black parents. These types of partnerships result in mixed-race children and some sociologists argue that these types of families have problems such as facing prejudice and discrimination from both White and Black communities.

The introduction of different family types have brought a different perspective to family life in the UK, which different values and traditions being brought in by many different ethnic groups such as with African-Caribbean families tend to be single parent families more often than White families, with mothers choosing to live independently from their children’s fathers because they possibly have weighed up the costs and benefits of living with the father’s and have chosen the fact they are an unreliable source of income or because they are more likely to be supported by an extended kinship network, often with neighbours and friends classed as ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’. Asian families tend to stick to the old-fashioned nuclear family but within Sikhs and East African Asians they often live in extended families. Considering all of the changes and consequences above, it has been shown that the UK population is constantly changing and in recent times our population has become a lot more diverse, with many different ethnic groups being introduced into the country. The population is also ageing with life expectancy increasing and birth rates falling, creating a better balance of the dependency ratio.

income or because they are more likely to be supported by an extended kinship network, often with neighbours and friends classed as ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’. Asian families tend to stick to the old-fashioned nuclear family but within Sikhs and East African Asians they often live in extended families. Considering all of the changes and consequences above, it has been shown that the UK population is constantly changing and in recent times our population has become a lot more diverse, with many different ethnic groups being introduced into the country. The population is also ageing with life expectancy increasing and birth rates falling, creating a better balance of the dependency ratio.