(Incomplete) Examine the Reasons and the Effects of Changes in Family Sizes over the Past 100 Years.

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Over the past 100 years there has been a declining rate in family sizes in the UK, birth rate across the UK has also decreased. The birth rate is the number of live births per 1000 of the population per year. Since the 1900 the birth rate has been decreasing with the exception of the ‘baby booms’ after the wars and during the 1960’s, but still the overall birth rate has been decreasing with time. There are several social factors which contribute to these changes, Since the early 1900’s women were married and starting a family at an early age and if they weren’t they were frowned upon, however over time the position of women in society has changed and their status and power is much higher than it was before. The changes that occurred include greater equality, rights to vote, rights to divorce, work opportunities and the availability of contraception to control their fertility, due these factors women are no longer frowned upon on for having ambitions and goals to achieve before they settle down and start a family. The changes in society’s attitude towards women has led to more freedom and the choice of whether they have children or pursue a career; therefore due to such freedom for women compared to 100 years ago the birth rate has declined and thus the family sizes have also declined. In the UK the average age for a woman to give birth to her first child is 28 however 100 years ago women were expected to be married and at least planning a family in their late teens or early twenties, the fact that this statistic has risen has an impact on the birth rate across the UK and therefore the family sizes, this is due to the fact that women now have less time to have a lot of children and create a large family before they become infertile. The fact that women are starting a family at a later age may be due to the fact that they set out to go to university and get a
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