In the article “No Babies?” by Russell Shorto, he discusses how the population in Europe is declining drastically. He discusses how the birthrate has dropped drastically from 6.0 to 2.9 today. He discusses how the birth to death rate is very unbalanced as well, which is a result of the declining population. He takes in to consideration how the European population worldwide will decrease from 12.5% to only 5%. He discusses how it is feared that the European culture will be lost due to the fact that the majority of the European population is mainly made up of older generations and few younger.
A change that has happened to childbearing since the 1970's is that over four in ten children are now born outside of marriage, which is five times more than it was in 1971. This means that more children are being born into lone-parent families or cohabilitating families. A reason for this is that there has been a huge decline in the stigma that used to be held over births outside marriage and also a increase in cohabiliatation. An example of this is that only one third of 18-24 year olds think marriage should come before parenthood, meaning that the rise in births outside of marriage is more to do with the increase in cohabilitating couples than it is to do with single parents. Another change that has happened in childbearing since the 1970's is that women are having fewer children and children later in life.
A reason in particular that nuclear families are no longer the norm is that, divorce rate has increased. Research shows that now 40% of marriages now end in divorce. This leads to lone-parent families and re-constituted families. However, a sociologist may also argue that nuclear families are still by far the most common type of family in Britain and therefore are the ‘norm’. Secondly, feminism is another reason that some people believe that nuclear families are no longer the norm.
More children are born in Britain today outside of marriage than in most other European countries. This has been linked to many explanations such as; poor education in sexual health and the lack of knowlege on different types of contraceptives. Nearly a quarter of children lived with only one parent (25%) last year and nine out of ten of these households were headed by mothers. Dennis and Erdos believe that is is down to most families being fatherless, meaning they automatically have poor health and lower educational attainment, however this is only one theory. Another main reason is the simple fact people are marrying later for many reasons, more because of the change in attitudes towards education and religion (seclurisation).
Assess the view that secularisation has been a feature of only modern European societies (33 Marks) Secularisation can be defined as ‘the process whereby religious beliefs, practices and institutions lose social significance’. Secularisation is a feature of modern European societies, such as Britain. Weber has identified that church attendance on Sundays has dropped from 10%-15% to 6% in 2005, church weddings and baptisms as well as Sunday school attendance have also declined. Wilson has highlighted that a feature of modern European societies is the drop in church attendance on Sundays. Most recent research conducted shows that attendance is projected to drop from 6.3% to 4.7% by 2015.
The late 60's early 70's saw marriages in the UK grow, reaching the highest peak recorded in the history of the UK in 1972 at 480,000, however by 2001 this figure had dropped to 206,000. Along side this, the average age for first marriages rose by seven years between 1971 and 2005, where the figure reached 30 for women and 32 for males. The significant drop in marriage rates over the years is due to many factors. Firstly, the late 60's/early 70's, saw the so-called 'baby-boom' period from the 50's come into effect, after WW2 ended in the early 50's, men where coming back from war, and getting there wife's pregnant, due to not seeing each other for so long etc, this in turn meant that there was a boom period for baby's being born, the late 60's/early 70's where now seeing these baby's, who by this time where in their late teens and early twenties marrying each other at a younger age, than previous generations. This explains why there is such a peak between 1970-1980, a higher birth rate years before meant that there was a higher marriage rate, especially the record figure in 72.
Between 1945 and 1997, electoral turnout was between 71% and 83%. However, every election from 2001 has seen the lowest turnout since 1945, with a record low being 59% in 2001. The decline in electoral turnout certainly suggests a decline in interest and participation in politics. Voter apathy is on the rise – in 2001, ITV reported that 70% of viewers showed little or no interest in the publication of election results – while party identification figures are falling. The percentage of people with ‘very strong’ identification with either of the two main parties was a low 13% in 2001.
Most men remarry within three years. Most women remarry within 5 years. As a result, blended families are developed and increasing at an astonishing rate. The American Association of Christian Counselors reports that remarriages after divorce tend to be unstable, break up more often and end quickly than do first-time marriages. Remarriages are 50% more likely to divorce in the first five years compared to first marriages.
Due to dropping fertility rates and an increased life expectancy, China’s population has rapidly become an aging one. In 1980 the percentage of the population 65+ was 5%, but today it is 8.5%. Although these figures are lower than other countries such as Japan (20%), a lack of pension coverage in China means that approximately 70% of elderly people are reliant financially on their children and grandchildren. As an only child, many adults in China struggle to support their two parents and four grandparents. Most cannot receive support from siblings or cousins as they do not have them.
Research shows that 28% of homes are single person households. This is due to the divorce rates increasing to a rate where it is now the norm, whereas in the past, society would look down on an individual who even considered divorce (social stigma). Research shows that now 40% of marriages have ended in