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Cross CurrentsFamily Law and Policy in the US and England$
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Sanford N. Katz, John Eekelaar, and Mavis MacLean

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198268208

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198268208.001.0001

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Changing Family Patterns in England and Wales over the Last Fifty Years

Changing Family Patterns in England and Wales over the Last Fifty Years

(p.30) (p.31) 2 Changing Family Patterns in England and Wales over the Last Fifty Years
Cross Currents

Colin Gibson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the major demographic trends and social changes within the family structure of England and Wales between 1950 and 1999. The current population of England and Wales is some fifty-two million. The two countries form some nine-tenths (91 per cent) of the population of the three countries (England, Scotland, and Wales) that constitute Great Britain. Some important official sources of data refer only to Britain (The General Household Survey); it is proper to relate such information to the changing social structure of England and Wales. Changing social mores have helped modify the traditional attitude that the nuclear conjugal family was the expected setting in which to raise children. An increasing proportion of dependent children will experience family settings with one parent present, or within partnerships formed by unmarried couples, or households formed by parent and step-parent families. And, of course, the permutations can be extended.

Keywords:   England, Wales, Great Britain, family patterns, social changes, family structure, social structure, nuclear conjugal family, households, families

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